CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – It was an action packed weekend for the Corpus Christi IceRays in Dallas, TX as they completed the third Main Camp as members of the North American Hockey League. Players from all across North America flocked to the Dr. Pepper Star Center for a three day tryout to finalize the roster for the 15th year anniversary season.
Day one began with practices, as four squads took to the ice to showcase their skills before the games started.
“In terms of the format in ends up being beneficial for us in that we get to get them in a setting that is not necessarily a game right off the bat,” said second year head coach Justin Quenneville. “We put them through a few drills to get the rust out and get them acclimated to some of the things that we’re familiar with in terms of situations on the ice.”
The games played had a little bit of everything including fights, hits, and great all-around plays which caught the attention of the coaching staff. “It was a physical environment and that’s what we need here,” Quenneville added. “We need people to understand that this is not just a tryout but an opportunity as well. The guys were playing hard and some good fights too but it was a good style of play too.”
After the second day concluded, the coaching staff trimmed the rosters down for the final day which was the All-Star game. And that was no easy task for Quenneville and staff. “The whole year really accumulates to this. Your whole summer, your whole recruiting plan, your scouts. Everyone’s input is very important. It makes for a stressful three days but this is what it’s all about. Guys who are pushing the envelope and players are going to be taking jobs from others. You want to have tough decisions.”
Making the All-Star rosters for the final day wasn’t even the hard part. That came after the game when the final roster needed to be puzzled together. “It’s never easy cutting down. Everyone played hard and it makes it difficult and it comes down to fitting that mold and that balance that we’re trying to look for. To cut down to 40 players for an All-Star game is difficult in itself, but having to go all the way down to 25 within the course of a day is very difficult. I am very thankful for our staff, everyone involved, and the input from everyone that’s here.”
Season tickets for the 15th year anniversary season of the IceRays are now on sale. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com.
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