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!
(1) – Kircher Scores OT Goal As Time Expires
IceRays forward Toby Kircher scored one of the most memorable moments during the 2015-16 season in the final trip to the NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills, Texas on March 19. In the midst of the playoff push, the IceRays forced overtime in their final meeting with the Lone Star Brahmas in an attempt to avoid another road sweep at the hands of the Brahmas. With 10 seconds remaining, forward Stevie Bryant carried the puck through center ice and was caught in a jam with two Brahmas defensemen with five seconds left. The puck squirted free, and Kircher picked it up and walked to the middle of the circles. His wrist shot snuck through the legs of netminder Corbin Kaczperski, hit the back of the net with .02 seconds remaining on the clock, and time expired just after the red light went on. The goal forced the third win in three seasons at the NYTEX Sports Centre for the IceRays by a 2-1 tally and marked the latest goal in junior franchise history.
(16) – Lichtenvoort's Lazer Off Miller Turnover
Defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort hasn't been afraid to take offensive chances, but his sharp goal also at the NYTEX Sports Centre against the Lone Star Brahmas came with some help before him. On January 15 as part of a big 5-2 win over the Brahmas, IceRays forward Brendan Miller intercepted a pass at center ice and carried up the left wing wall halfway into the offensive zone. He cut back at the wall and found Lichtenvoort streaking in the zone. The 20-year-old then cut by one backchecker and found a seam in the left circle to snap a hard wrist shot right by waiting netminder Conor O'Brien for the third IceRays goal and second of the third period. The goal was his first of the season and 12th of his NAHL career.
Will Toby Kircher's buzzer-beater hold off the snipe by Cody Lichtenvoort? It's YOUR turn to decide. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CDT tonight.