The IceRays Weekly is a weekly recap and preview of IceRays news, games, and more. The IceRays Weekly will be released every Monday during the 2015-16 season.
Thursday, April 7: IceRays 1, Wichita Falls Wildcats 4
Shots: IceRays 22, Wildcats 39
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Wildcats 2-for-10
The Corpus Christi IceRays (25-28-6) were overpowered in their 4-1 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (43-11-5) on Thursday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
Wildcats forward Adam Goodsir (PP 8:44 1st) opened the scoring in the opening period while the IceRays were outshot 16-2. The Wildcats would score three more in the second period coming from forwards Andre Pison (3:00 2nd) with an individual effort, Aleksi Poikola (PP, 14:23 2nd) into an open net, and Nick Rosa (16:45 2nd) in a play from the slot to move to a 4-0 lead. IceRays forward Mason Krueger (19:53 3rd) wiped out the shutout bid late in the game, but the IceRays fell 4-1.
Julian Sime (11-3-2) stopped 21 of 22 shots in the win, while Dryden McKay halted 35 of 39 shots in the loss.
Friday, April 8: IceRays 2, Wichita Falls Wildcats 5
Shots: IceRays 26, Wildcats 35
PP: IceRays 1-for-9, Wildcats 0-for-8
The Corpus Christi IceRays (25-29-6) ended the 2015-16 season with a 5-2 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (44-11-5) on Friday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum, eliminating them from playoff contention.
Wildcats forward Austin Albrecht (4:23 1st) opened the scoring and gave the home side the 1-0 lead, and Wildcats defenseman Matt Hines (5:06 1st) doubled the lead, 2-0, less than one minute later. Wildcats forward Nick Bowman (19:03 1st) scored his first NAHL goal to triple the lead, 3-0, before the end of the first period. The Wildcats added another thanks to forward Trent Dillinger (SH, 4:01 2nd) to move the lead to 4-0 before the IceRays answered. IceRays forward Jimmy O'Brien (3:56 3rd) earned the first followed by defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort (PP, 8:30 3rd) to cut the lead in half, 4-2. Wildcats forward Jonathan Lazarus (EN, 18:47 3rd) ended the push with the sealing goal to rest the scoreline at 5-2.
Wildcats goaltender Justin Kapelmaster (33-8-3) earned the win, stopping 24 of 26 shots, while IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (10-15-4) picked up the loss, turning aside 30 of 34 shots.
The 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs begin with the divisional semifinal rounds lasting two weeks before the battle for the division playoff crown. The Wichita Falls Wildcats closed the season with the second-best record in the NAHL and will host the Odessa Jackalopes in the best-of-five series beginning on Friday night. The Wildcats are 7-2-1 against the Jackalopes this season and hold the advantage in the series with an undefeated record at home head-to-head and have won 16-straight games at the Kay Yeager Coliseum dating back to December. However, the Jackalopes swept the Wildcats in three-straight games in their last meeting coming at the Ector County Coliseum in February. The Lone Star Brahmas and Topeka RoadRunners are battling for the second and third-straight weekends after splitting last weekend to round out the season. The two teams split their season series with four wins each, and the home team won three of four, making this the most even matchup of the opening round. The Corpus Christi IceRays just barely missed the playoff by two points and a tie-breaker, and the Amarillo Bulls fell outside of the playoffs for the second-straight year.
Final South Division Standings:
1-Wichita Falls Wildcats 44-11-5, 93 points
2-Lone Star Brahmas 39-12-9, 87 points
3-Topeka RoadRunners 34-24-2, 70 points
4-Odessa Jackalopes 27-29-4, 58 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 25-29-6, 56 points
Amarillo Bulls 13-43-4, 30 points
The IceRays closed the 2015-16 season with a 25-29-6 record and 56 points, marking the fourth-best record over the past six seasons ahead of the 2013-14 campaign (19-31-10, 48 points) and the opening 2010-11 season (19-34-5, 43 points). In addition, the IceRays completed the 2015-16 season with the best attendance in the NAHL for the second-straight year, finishing with 90,940 fans through 30 games played (28 at the American Bank Center) and averaging 3,031 fans per game. That's the sixth-straight year the IceRays finished with over 3,000 per game, and the team has been in the top-two for all six junior seasons. The second place team was the Johnstown Tomahawks, finishing with 68,834 fans and 2,294 per game. The IceRays organization wants to thank each and every fan for their support once again this season and making the Corpus Christi IceRays the best fanbase in the North American Hockey League.
– Defend The Bend –