CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, in conjunction with the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have released their schedule for the 13th Annual NAHL Showcase from September 23-26 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. All four games will take place either in the morning or early afternoon.
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 20 NAHL Showcase games over the past five seasons, recording a 10-7-3 record. Last season, the IceRays earned a 2-1-1 record and improved their overall record under head coach John Becanic to 3-3-2.
The IceRays open the 2015 NAHL Showcase on Wednesday, Sep. 23 against the Johnstown Tomahawks at 1:30 p.m. from Schwan Super Rink 4. The two teams met back in the 2012 NAHL Showcase on the final day with the IceRays coming away with a 5-3 win. Last season, Johnstown split their showcase schedule 2-2 including a 4-0 loss to Topeka and a 6-4 win over Odessa. Over their last three seasons, they own a 5-5-2 record at the NAHL Showcase, and franchise holds a 21-23-5 record dating back to 2004 as the Springfield (MO) Spirit, Wasilla Spirit, and Alaska Avalanche. In May, the Tomahawks were crowned as the first Kraft Hockeyville USA winner while going 25-27-8 in the 2014-15 season and missing the playoffs by one point in the North Division.
Day two pits the IceRays against the expansion franchise Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Thursday, Sep. 24 at 1:15 p.m. in Schwan Super Rink 2. The Knights are one of three teams to be granted membership or relocate ahead of the 2015-16 season and the only of the three to jump junior tiers. For the past three seasons, the Knights have operated in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) as a USA Hockey-approved Tier-III franchise. Their membership is part of an eastern expansion for the NAHL, and they purchased the Dawson Creek Rage franchise, which has been dormant since the 2011-12 season. The IceRays owned a 1-1-0 record against Dawson Creek at the NAHL Showcase.
The team’s lone morning game comes on Friday, Sep. 25 against the Springfield Jr. Blues at 10:15 a.m. in Schwan Super Rink 2. The Jr. Blues carried a lot of misfortune in the 2014-15 season, finishing with a 23-31-6 record and last in the North Division. Despite their struggles, one reliable aspect of their roster was their goaltender: Dryden McKay. This off-season, the IceRays acquired McKay, who will have a chance to face-off against his former team. This will be the first meeting between the IceRays and the Jr. Blues at the NAHL Showcase. Springfield holds a 21-24-3 record at the NAHL Showcase dating back to 2004, however since the IceRays joined the NAHL in 2010 that record drops to 5-15-0.
The NAHL Showcase rounds out on Saturday, Sep. 26 with the third showcase meeting in five years with the Minot Minotauros at 12:15 p.m. in Schwan Super Rink 4. The two teams met for the first time in 2011 with the IceRays pulling out a 7-2 victory on the final day, and their next meeting in 2013 was a close finish with the IceRays once again walking away with a win, this time 5-4. The Minotauros finished second in the Central Division in 2014-15 with a 37-17-6 record and were runner-up to the NAHL Champions for the second-straight year following a knockout of a South Division opponent in the playoffs. Minot went 2-2-0 last season in the showcase and own a 5-9-2 record over the last four seasons.
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, click here. The IceRays will also provide limited in-game updates via Twitter.