CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, in conjunction with the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have announced the schedule for the 2017 NAHL Showcase at Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. The IceRays will play the Bismarck Bobcats, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Philadelphia Rebels and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
The NAHL Showcase is a four-day tournament hosted by the league that provides an opportunity for players to show their skills to college and professional hockey scouts at game speed as well as for coaches to evaluate their teams prior to the Oct. 1 roster deadline. All four games played count as part of the 60-game schedule, and most rosters will be cut from 25 to 23 players following the weekend. The IceRays have appeared in 28 NAHL Showcase games over the last seven seasons, recording a 11-11-6 record. Last season, the IceRays earned a 1-1-0-2 record including an overtime win against the Minnesota Magicians and points in three of four games.
The IceRays begin the four-day showcase with the franchise’s first meeting with the Bismarck Bobcats on Wednesday, Sep. 20 at 2:30 p.m.. The Bobcats finished the 2016-17 campaign on a down year, going 28-30-1-1 with 58 points, placing fifth in the Central Division. In their previous campaign, the Bobcats made an appearance at the Robertson Cup Semifinals for the third time after winning the Central Division both in the regular season and playoffs. Since their official entry into the NAHL thanks to the merger with the American West Hockey League (AWHL), the Bobcats have earned four division titles, three Robertson Cup tournament appearances, and one Robertson Cup Championship in 2010.
Day two pits the IceRays against one of the league’s most successful overall franchises: the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The Ice Dogs, like the IceRays, had a 2016-17 season that encompassed two different halves of the year, struggling in the first half but becoming one of the hottest teams to finish the regular season, improving to 33-24-2-1 with 69 points and second place in the Midwest Division before falling in the Midwest Division Final. The Ice Dogs have won three of the last seven Robertson Cup Championships, last winning in 2016 over the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Like the Bobcats, the Ice Dogs also came into the NAHL thanks to the AWHL merger and have six division titles to their name as well as two years playing in the South Division. The IceRays have never played Fairbanks at the NAHL Showcase, but in regular season play the IceRays are 3-2-3 against the Ice Dogs. They will play on Thursday, Sep. 21 at 10:15 a.m.
The IceRays take on a familiar but now distant foe, the Philadelphia Rebels, on Friday, Sep. 22 at 1:00 p.m. The Rebels moved arenas from Aston, Penn. to the city of Philadelphia and announced their city name on Jul. 24, 2017. Since moving to the East Division after two seasons as the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in Hidalgo, Texas, the Rebels have won both East Division Titles as well as both East Division Playoff Championships, entering the Robertson Cup Semifinals those seasons. The Rebels won the President’s Trophy for the best record in 2016-17, going 46-11-2-1 with 95 points. Head Coach Joe Coombs, who led the Killer Bees from 2013-15, continues his tenure behind the bench. Against Coombs-led teams, the IceRays are 10-12-2 but have never met the Rebels.
The final day of the NAHL Showcase is a rematch of a game two seasons ago between the IceRays and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Saturday, Sep. 23 at 9:30 a.m. The IceRays met the Knights for the first time on Sep. 24, 2015 in the franchise’s third NAHL game, winning 3-2 in overtime on a Carter Johnson goal. The Knights improved in their second season in the NAHL, earning a 30-25-1-4 record with 65 points and fourth in the East Division, making their second-straight appearance in the playoffs. Despite their small tenure, their first NHL Draft Pick came in 2016 with Dmitri Zaitsev going to the Washington Capitals in the 7th Round, and the organization is building its NAHL profile year-by-year. The Knights have gone 2-5-0-1 at the NAHL Showcase over the last two seasons.
All four IceRays games will be broadcast exclusively on FASTHockey, the NAHL’s official live-stream provider. For more information on how to purchase those four games as well as a season pass, visit www.FASTHockey.com. The IceRays will also provide limited in-game updates via Twitter (@goicerays).
Season Tickets for the 20th Anniversary season are on sale now! Call the IceRays at 361-814-PUCK to reserve your season plan for the 2017-18 campaign. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).