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!
(8) – McKay's Acrobatic Home Debut
Before he became #NoWayMcKay, Dryden McKay was thought to be the number two option behind Graham Hunt for the entirety of the season, but one thing was certain before he rose to the top: he was acrobatic. That was on display in the first period of his first home start at the American Bank Center on October 3 against the Amarillo Bulls. After an initial shot from the right point deflected off an IceRays stick, the puck slipped to the left side of the net with the netminder out of position. Instinctively, McKay layed out to his right and halted not one, not two, not three, but four jams with his right arm until the puck slipped behind the net. The centering feed connected, and shot five went off McKay's mask and back behind the net. Another pass around to the right point, and shot six was turned away to the right side. Though shot seven would go in, the effort made by McKay gave him a rousing ovation by the IceRays fanbase and showed the potential of what would be seen throughout the course of the season.
(9) Acciaioli Nets First NAHL Goal
Many players on this year's IceRays squad scored their first NAHL goals, but none was as impressive as the snipe made by defenseman Matt Acciaioli. He joined the team in mid-October and was in and out of the lineup the entire season, but his first (and only) goal looked a lot like another play in our competition. On December 29, the IceRays began their four-game, five-day stretch against the Odessa Jackalopes, and they found themselves tied in the middle of the first period, 1-1. Not even one minute after the first, the IceRays got their second. Acciaioli received a pass at the left point and with room to work moved along the left wall into the circle. An unintentional two-man screen allowed the 18-year-old to set up a shot from the left side. He waited until he reached just above the goal line extended to flip a shot at the top of the net. It slipped underneath the short side of the Odessa goaltender and into the back corner of the net just inside of the crossbar. The goal was also his first point as an IceRay out of the six he would claim in 25 games.
Can Dryden McKay hold off another pursuit in spectacular fashion, this time a snipe from teammate Matt Acciaioli for the final Quarterfinal spot? YOUR choice decides their fate. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CDT tonight.