CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has named IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay the Easton Hockey NAHL South Division Star of the Week, the league announced today. McKay is the third different IceRays player to earn the league’s weekly honor after a strong three-game performance last week.
“It feels really good,” said McKay on the award. “I think we played well as a team and were much better defensively. We haven’t been giving up as many quality chances, and I just tried to do my job.”
McKay, 18, played all three games against the Lone Star Brahmas last week at the American Bank Center while starting the first two games, earning a 1-0-1 record with a 1.12 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage. The Downer’s Grove, Ill., native recorded his first shutout of the season during the team’s 3-0 win over the Brahmas on Thursday, stopping all 30 shots faced. The goose egg is also his third of his NAHL career. The following night, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound goaltender helped the IceRays earn one point in a 4-3 shootout loss, stopping another 30 shots on 33 chances through 65:00 minutes. He then came in relief on Saturday night and saved all 14 shots through 36:14 minutes in a 4-2 loss to close out the weekend. He has conceded fewer than two goals in five of his last six games as well as eight of his last 10 appearances. The trip up and back down from the United States Hockey League (NAHL) in December provided some help along with a different mind set to settle down in net.
“[The USHL] definitely helped with my confidence in net,” said McKay. “I’m trying to play more relaxed each game and have more fun while playing looser. It’s been helping me to play a lot better.”
“Dryden had a great weekend against a very good team in Lone Star,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic to NAHL.com. He was the main reason we had a chance and that we won on Thursday.”
After last week’s performance, McKay owns a 8-8-2 record and has greatly improved his numbers to a 2.64 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage, climbing into the top-20 among NAHL goaltenders in goals-against average and save percentage. He becomes the third player this season to earn weekly honors and the fourth overall, joining Hunt and forward Andy McGlynn as well as the eighth different player in six junior seasons.
The IceRays begin their final two-game weekend set against at the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Feb. 19 at 7:05 p.m. against the Amarillo Bulls. The IceRays come back to the American Bank Center on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:11 p.m. to begin a two-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes. Contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK or go to www.goicerays.com for details on season tickets along with pricing and seating. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).