CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, in conjunction with the North American Hockey League (NAHL), announced the schedule for the 14th Annual NAHL Showcase at Schwan Super Rink from September 21-24 in Blaine, Minn.
The NAHL Showcase is a four-day tournament hosted by the league that provides an opportunity for players to show their skills to college and professional hockey scouts at game speed as well as for coaches to evaluate their teams prior to the Oct. 1 roster deadline. All four games played count as part of the 60-game schedule, and rosters will be cut from 25 to 23 players following the weekend. The IceRays have appeared in 24 NAHL Showcase games over the last six seasons, recording a 11-10-3 record. Last season, the IceRays earned a 1-3-0 record including a comeback overtime victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
This season, the IceRays play four first-time opponents at the 2016 NAHL Showcase starting on Wednesday, Sep. 21 at 2:15 p.m. against the Aberdeen Wings. The Wings are now led by a familiar head coach: Scott Langer, who spent 12 seasons leading the Topeka RoadRunners and six of those against the IceRays. Under Langer-led teams, the IceRays are 7-19-4 over the last six seasons, however the IceRays earned a sparkling 4-1-1 record against the RoadRunners under Langer including the first weekend sweep of the team (Jan. 1-2), the first winning record against Topeka (5-2-1 total record) and a 5-3-2 record over the last two seasons. The Wings earned a 22-27-11 record, finishing sixth in the Central Division, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.
Day two moves the IceRays into the morning to take on the Minnesota Magicians at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Sep. 22. The Magicians are also working with a new head coach this season that’s familiar with the NAHL: Scott Meyer, who returns for his second full season and third total year. Meyer took over as Interim Head Coach in November 2015 and led the Magicians to a 24-28-8 record, missing the playoffs by one win after sharing fourth place in the Central Division with the Brookings Blizzard but dropping by virtue of tie-breakers. The Magicians have yet to have a winning season in three years but made the playoffs in 2014-15. The franchise was formerly the New Mexico Mustangs, members of the South Division for two seasons from 2010-12.
The trip through the Central Division continues on Friday, Sep. 23 at 1:00 p.m. when the IceRays take on the Blizzard. Brookings just made the playoffs last season in fourth place, finishing with a 25-29-6 record despite falling in the Divisional Semifinals to the Bismarck Bobcats. The Blizzard have kept the same mascot name since their inception prior to the 2004-05 season but have changed city names two times, going from “Minnesota” to “Alexandria” (despite being based in Alexandria for both instances) and finally to “Brookings” starting in 2012-13. The Blizzard have made the NAHL Playoffs two times in the last four seasons, finishing as high as third in the Central Division since their first season in Brookings.
The final day of the NAHL Showcase ends at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sep. 24 against the New Jersey Titans. The Titans enter their second season in the NAHL after a dazzling first year, finishing with a 34-22-4 record and second in the newly-formed East Division, just two points behind the Aston Rebels. The IceRays have played the franchise over the last six seasons but as the Soo Eagles in 2012, taking down the former Eagles 4-3 in overtime on the opening day of the NAHL Showcase thanks to three goals in the third period and a Perry D’Arrisso goal just 40 seconds into the extra period. The Titans made a statement at the NAHL Showcase last year, finishing a perfect 4-0-0 including defeating the Robertson Cup Runner-Up, the Wichita Falls Wildcats, 4-3 in a shootout on the final day.
All four IceRays games will be broadcast exclusively on FASTHockey, the NAHL’s official live-stream provider. For more information on how to purchase those four games as well as a season pass, visit www.FASTHockey.com. The IceRays will also provide limited in-game updates via Twitter (@goicerays).
The IceRays open the 2016-17 home schedule on Friday, Oct. 14 against the Odessa Jackalopes at the American Bank Center. Purchase your 2016-17 season ticket membership ahead of opening night! Reserve yours by contacting the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).