Dec 24, 2018

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Corpus Christi IceRays goaltender Sam Best has been named NAHL South Division Star of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for Dec. 17-23, 2018, the North American Hockey League announced Monday.

Best, 20, stopped 51 of 54 combined shots in a weekend sweep at the Lone Star Brahmas. In Friday’s game, Best made 24 saves in a 2-1 win. Saturday’s 3-2 win included 27 saves through regulation and overtime, plus Best stopped two of three Lone Star attempts in the shootout.

The IceRays’ active winning streak is at eight games, a junior franchise record. Best has been victorious in all five of his December starts. Through 17 total appearances this season, Best, a Boston native, is 11-6-0-0 record with a 2.65 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.

“Sam put together another excellent weekend,” said IceRays head coach Ryan Cruthers. “He made some incredible saves that led to our wins. Sam has been the backbone to our eight-game winning streak and move into second place. It is great to see the increased NCAA Division I attention he is receiving from his play this year.”

IceRays forward Santeri Hartikainen, who has a 10-game point streak (6+11), was an Honorable Mention for South Division Star of the Week.

Best is the third straight, and fourth overall, IceRays player to win NAHL South Division Star of the Week honors this season. Centers Jake Stella (Dec. 17) and Nicholas Seitz (Dec. 10) earned the honor the previous two weeks, while goaltender Akira Schmid, now of the USHL’s Omaha Lancers, did so Oct. 29.

The IceRays continue their season-long, 10-game road trip this weekend with games Dec. 28-29 at the Shreveport Mudbugs. Both games are set for 7:11 PM CT and will be carried on Sportsradio Corpus Christi (1230 AM/95.1 FM/96.1 FM), HockeyTV and Mixlr. For more information, visit Corpus Christi’s next home game at American Bank Center is Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 against the Mudbugs at 7:05 PM CT.

Single game tickets, group tickets and suites for the remainder of the 2018-19 IceRays season are on sale now. Visit or call 361-814-PUCK (7825) for tickets or more information. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays).