The IceRays are re-introducing the play of the year competition to recap the golden moments from the most recent season in a single elimination style tournament. The field has been narrowed down to the 16-best goals, moves, and saves from the 2015-16 season and seeded based on organizational rank. Now, YOU must decide which will be crowned the 2016 IceRays Best of the Bend!
(3) – McKay Robs Lown With Glove
Round 1: 82% of the vote
The acrobatic Dryden McKay showed glimpses of his Most Valuable Player season early on in the first month during a turbulent opening to the 2015-16 season. In the second game of a tough road trip to the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Halloween, the 18-year-old made what is arguably his save of the year. Despite the eventual 3-0 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats, McKay helped keep the IceRays close including a highlight save on a big point threat. After a turnover at the IceRays blue line, the Wildcats came back in on a 3-on-2 and looked to add to their lead. Wildcats forward Ben Lown received a pass to the right of the net with some room to fire a shot, and just as he let go, McKay lunged to his left and stole a sure goal away, snatching the puck with his glove hand and forcing a whistle. That was just the beginning of the athleticism on display in his second NAHL season and first with the IceRays.
(11) Kircher Goes The Distance For OT Win
Round 1: 61% of the vote
It seems that center Toby Kircher has a flair for the dramatic, picking up three overtime game-winning goals this season across two teams, but this came on a play created on his own while on the road in Odessa during December. With the three-on-three format, Kircher had time to collect the puck at his own blue line and range around the zone to create the next attack and think about his decisions. After two wide circles, he led the charge right at the Jackalopes defense and advanced to their blue line. Much like Cavanagh would do in February, he slipped through two stick checks and found an open lane to the right of the Odessa goaltender and flipped a backhanded shot over the near-side shoulder to reach top shelf and seal the victory for the IceRays. For the second-straight day, the bottom seed is a thread through stick lifts.
Will McKay claim the upper hand for the Semi-Finals with his glove save, or can a third-straight upset allow a Kircher OT goal and knock out another top-eight seed. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CDT tonight.