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Preview: IceRays vs. Amarillo Bulls (Game 38)

Storylines Aplenty

Last night was almost too good to be true for the IceRays, who were entering the contest with so many storylines tied in. The first home matchup against Amarillo, the return of Larry Jungwirth, the goal-streak of Rylee St. Onge, the opening faceoff for David Thomson, etc. All of them were augmented yesterday, and some new ones were even added to the mix.

The Rays secured their first regulation win since before Christmas, Jungwirth had a three-point night in his first game back, St. Onge extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, and Thomson took part in an emotional opening faceoff. In addition, Dakota Concannon scored his first IceRays goal in just his second game, and Jake Acton pitched his season-best performance in net, making 33 of a possible 34 saves.

The Matchup

Their current slump notwithstanding, Amarillo showed last night that they were a hard team to play against. Larry Jungwirth, Conor Yawney, Jayson Dimizio, Pavel Koreshkov and others unquestionably left the arena with bumps and bruises. The second game won’t be any easier.

Bringing in Austin O’Rourke, Jared Domin, and Noah Bormann in exchange for three of their most skilled players clearly had the intended effect, as the Bulls have become a gritty and hard-nosed force to be reckoned with. Last night they had 34 penalty minutes to the IceRays’ six, 26 of which were from O’Rourke and Domin alone. Very seldom would you see someone from either side neglect to finish their check yesterday, and we expect more of the same to be in store tonight.

Dimizio Defends Yawney

Of the six penalty minutes the IceRays served yesterday, four of them were a direct result of Jayson Dimizio standing up for Conor Yawney after two frightening plays. One was a high stick, the other was a push from behind in which Yawney went head-first into the boards. In both cases, Dimizio jumped to Yawney’s defense without a moment of hesitation, getting himself into scraps with a 6’3 Russian as well as the Bulls’ PIMS leader this season.

Just two weeks ago, Dimizio dropped the gloves against Shreveport’s Andrew Lane and made short work of him, conveying that not only is he willing to stick up for his teammates, but he’s capable of it. These attributes will become invaluable to the IceRays the longer the season goes on, and the mere fact that Dimizio jumped in so quickly twice yesterday suggests that the camaraderie within the group is indeed strong.

City/County Night

The IceRays are pleased to welcome to tonight’s game any city and county employees throughout the greater Corpus Christi area. Thanks to a generous donation provided by Citgo, all city/county employees who’ve had vouchers delivered to them by IceRays office staff throughout the week will be allowed free admission for themselves and their families. The IceRays ask that anyone wishing to utilize this deal please bring their vouchers to the box office windows on Resaca Street on the South side of the American Bank Center.