CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, in conjunction with the North American Hockey League (NAHL), released the 2016-17 regular season schedule this morning. The IceRays will open their 19th hockey season and 7th in the NAHL on Friday, Sep. 16 in Wichita Falls and their home schedule on Friday, Oct. 14 against the Odessa Jackalopes.
The NAHL begins its sixth-straight season with a 60-game format with four of those game reserved for the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., marking 28 games at the American Bank Center and 28 as true road games with four neutral site contests in September. The South Division adds the Shreveport Mudbugs this season, creating the first seven-team division since the 2013-14 season.
The IceRays will play all six divisional opponents outside of the NAHL Showcase at least five times with an unequal spread of games to fill the schedule. Corpus Christi plays the Topeka RoadRunners five times with only two at the American Bank Center while taking on the Lone Star Brahmas 11 times with six at home. The other four opponents–Amarillo, Odessa, Shreveport, and Wichita Falls–will play an even number of games both at home and on the road in their head-to-head series.
The 2016-17 season opens with a 10-game road trip beginning on Friday, Sep. 16 for a three-in-three set against the Robertson Cup Runner-Up, the Wichita Falls Wildcats, followed by the NAHL Showcase. After a weekend off to begin the first full weekend of October, the IceRays play a three-in-three in Topeka starting on Thursday, Oct. 6 for their only trip to the Kansas ExpoCentre. The team will finally open the home schedule on Friday, Oct. 14 against Odessa followed by their first meeting with the Shreveport Mudbugs in junior franchise history on Wednesday, Oct. 28 in a three-game, four-day set at the American Bank Center.
November sees the IceRays at home in two of the four weekends, both being in the final two weekends including a two-game set against the Lone Star Brahmas in back-to-back series and Thanksgiving weekend for a two-game tilt against the Amarillo Bulls. Following a third-straight weekend at home on December 2-3, the IceRays play four of their next six games against the Shreveport Mudbugs with those four games in consecutive order. Friday, Dec. 9 starts a two-game set in North Richland Hills against the Brahmas followed by the return to the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum before the holiday break. The IceRays return back home for the latter end of the back-to-back set on December 28-29 against the Mudbugs as well as the crossover into the second half of the 2016-17 season prior to New Year’s Day.
After a weekend off to begin January, the IceRays play one series at home before the annual six-game road trip beginning on Friday, Jan. 20 in Amarillo followed by weekends in Odessa and Shreveport before beginning the longest home stand of the season. Starting on February 10, the IceRays play eight-straight games at home, all on Friday and Saturday of their respective weekends, spanning just shy of one full month at the American Bank Center. All four weekends will host different opponents including the final home series against Odessa and Topeka.
The IceRays then close out their final 13 games of the season with only five coming at the American Bank Center. Included in that final stretch are: five-straight games against Wichita Falls to open March, an isolated Wednesday night home game on March 15 against Shreveport before another road weekend, a three-game road weekend against the Mudbugs and Brahmas to open April, and over half of the team’s schedule against the Wildcats coming in the span of just over one month. The IceRays close the 2016-17 season on the final weekend of the year: April 7-8 against Wichita Falls.
The full schedule can be viewed here with a downloadable version. All times listed are subject to change.
This year’s NAHL Top Prospect Tournament will be held on February 27-28, 2017 in Plymouth, Mich. Specific details of the event have not yet been released.
The 2016-17 IceRays promotional schedule and broadcast schedule will be released later this summer.
Full and partial full season memberships for the 2016-17 IceRays season are on sale now! Reserve yours by contacting the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).