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.
Friday, February 5: IceRays 1, Lone Star Brahmas 4
Shots: IceRays 19, Brahmas 28
PP: IceRays 1-for-6, Brahmas 2-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (17-19-4) dropped a special teams matchup 4-1 to the Lone Star Brahmas (26-9-7) on Friday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.
Brahmas forward Tyler Drevitch (PP, 5:41 1st) scored the game’s first goal with a one-time slap shot from the left circle. IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof (PP, 7:28 2nd) scored his first power play goal to even the score, 1-1, before Brahmas forward Hogan Davidson (SH, 13:45 2nd) gave the home side back the lead, 2-1. The Brahmas opened up the game in the final period with goals from defenseman Bud Madej (PP, 7:33 3rd) and Davidson (EN, 18:01 3rd) to seal the 4-1 win.
Brahmas goaltender Conor O’Brien (9-3-5) stopped 18 of 19 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (10-12-3) saved 24 of 27 shots in the loss.
Saturday, February 6: IceRays 0, Lone Star Brahmas 1
Shots: IceRays 16, Brahmas 24
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Brahmas 1-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (17-20-4) were edged 1-0 in a defensive battle with the Lone Star Brahmas (27-9-7) on Saturday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.
Both teams remained perfect through two periods of play despite numerous chances to score the game's first goal. The squads combined for 30 shots in the first two frames, and nothing stretched across until the final period. Brahmas forward Alex Berardinelli (PP, 2:40 3rd) tapped in a rebound from an initial save along the right side of the net to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Despite pulling the goaltender for the extra skater late in the game, the IceRays could not find the answer.
Brahmas netminder Corbin Kaczperski (17-6-2) stopped all 16 shots in the win, and IceRays goalie Dryden McKay (7-8-1) turned aside 23 of 24 shots in the loss.
Thursday, February 11 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:11 p.m
Friday, February 12 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:11 p.m.
Saturday, February 13 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:11 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays finish out their five-game mini-series with the Lone Star Brahmas this weekend at the American Bank Center with their second three-in-three set. The IceRays have now dropped three-straight games to the Brahmas, falling to 2-4-1 on the season with five games remaining in the season set. With the losses they drop to 10-10-3 in three seasons, however the IceRays have owned the franchise series at the American Bank Center, winning eight of 11 meetings including a 4-3 overtime thriller on Nov. 21, 2015 to open the season set.
PROMOTIONS: The IceRays host their second and final three-in-three set of the season as well as their last Winning Weekday game for the year on Thursday. It's your final chance to take advantage of buy-one, get-one free tickets at the American Bank Center Box Office in 2015-16. Friday night is Teacher Appreciation Night along with another one-dollar beer and soda evening on Frosty Friday. Saturday is Hockey & Heels Night, benefitting the Women's Shelter of South Texas. A silent auction table will be at that evening's game, and fans are encouraged to bring with them new toiletry items as well as new diapers for the shelter. Those looking to donate can do so upon entry into the American Bank Center or by dropping off items to the IceRays Front Office the week leading up to the game.
South Division Recap:
The South Division forecast looks much different following the results of last weekend's games. The Odessa Jackalopes found a way to sweep the Wichita Falls Wildcats in three games at the Ector County Coliseum, not only forcing the top-three in to tighter constraints but also the race for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Jackalopes are now tied with the Corpus Christi IceRays for fourth place and hold the current tiebreaker by virtue of win percentage with one game in-hand. The sweeps earned by the Lone Star Brahmas and Topeka RoadRunners keep the two sides separated by four points, but now the Brahmas are within seven points of first place after only one point was earned by Wichita Falls in three games. The Amarillo Bulls have two wins in their last 12 games and remain 16 points out of a playoff spot.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 32-9-4, 68 points
Lone Star Brahmas 27-9-7, 61 points
Topeka RoadRunners 28-16-1, 57 points
Odessa Jackalopes 17-20-4, 38 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 17-20-4, 38 points
Amarillo Bulls 9-29-4, 22 points
IN THE NEWS…
Two former IceRays were recalled to their respective NHL squads. Last Sunday, goaltender Pheonix Copley was called-up to the St. Louis Blues from the Chicago Wolves to back up with Jake Allen out due to injury. Following last Monday's AHL All-Star Classic, netminder Anthony Stolarz was also recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to fill-in due to Michael Neuvirth's injury. Stolarz is making his second trip to the NHL this season while Copley is on his first. Neither goaltender has seen ice time thus far, but one of the two could potentially become the first junior alum to earn ice time in the NHL.
IceRays forward Carter Johnson committed to Miami University (OH) on Wednesday, becoming the second player to commit to a NCAA Division I program this season along with Jimmy O'Brien (Colorado College). Johnson, 20, leads the IceRays in all major scoring categories, owning the lead outright in goals (10) and points (27) while sharing the lead in assists (17), power play goals (3) and power play points (10) through 40 games. The Gimli, Man., native also owns three multi-goal games, the most of any IceRays player this season, including the game-tying and game-winning goals against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sep. 24 in a 3-2 overtime win. He is the second player to commit to Miami University (Grant Hutton, 2012-14).
IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay has been red hot since his return from the USHL at the beginning of January. He has given up two or fewer goals in four of his last five games while going three-straight games with under two goals allowed. In those four other games, the 18-year-old owns a 2-1-0 record with a 1.47 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage with lone game excluded being the 6-2 loss against Wichita Falls on Jan. 9, saving 32 of 38 shots in the contest.
Last weekend's games against the Brahmas did not see one five-on-five goal through 120 minutes of play. Four goals came on the power play, one was short handed, and one was with an extra attacker. This is the first time in junior franchise history that the IceRays played a weekend without a five-on-five goal conceded by either side. The closest to this came on Feb. 13-14, 2015 against the Amarillo Bulls when 12 of the 15 goals scored came either on special teams or when an extra attacker was on the ice.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
The IceRays launched their "Go Nuts! For Heart Health" campaign last Thursday for the month of February. Fans can purchase two tickets for the team's Heart Night game on February 27 and receive a bag of Setton Farms pistachios. The campaign is led by IceRays forward Adam Canepa to help promote heart-healthy choices throughout Heart Month and to benefit the American Heart Association. This offer is available throughout February and can be done only through the IceRays Front Office or the American Heart Association branch in Corpus Christi.
– Defend The Bend –