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.
Saturday, January 30: Amarillo Bulls 2, IceRays 3
Shots: Bulls 22, IceRays 29
PP: Bulls 2-for-3, IceRays 2-for-7
The Corpus Christi IceRays (17-17-4) held off the Amarillo Bulls (8-27-4) to claim a 3-2 win on Saturday night at the American Bank Center.
Bulls forward George Mike (PP, 5:22 1st) redirected a shot from the blue line to give the road team a 1-0 lead. IceRays forward Brad LeLievre (PP, 11:09 1st) answered back with a one-timer down low by the crease to tie the game, 1-1. The IceRays gained the lead thanks to a shot from forward Drake Lindsay (PP, 19:09 2nd) to go up 2-1. IceRays forward Adam Canepa (14:07 3rd) took an awkward angled shot that slipped through into the net to double the lead, 3-1. Bulls defenseman Jake Houston (PP, EA, 18:43 3rd) brought the road side within one, 3-2, while holding a 6-on-4 advantage, but after that the IceRays kept the Bulls at bay.
IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (7-7-1) stopped 20 of 22 in the win, and Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (8-22-4) saved 26 of 29 shots in the loss.
Sunday, January 31: Amarillo Bulls 3, IceRays 2
Shots: Bulls 38, IceRays 35
PP: Bulls 1-for-2, IceRays 1-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (17-18-4) could not erase their deficit, falling 3-2 to the Amarillo Bulls (9-27-4) on Sunday afternoon at the American Bank Center.
Bulls defenseman Tyler Hall (15:06 1st) scored the game's first goal from the blue line to open a 1-0 lead for Amarillo. Less than three minutes later, Bulls forward Mykyta Sheptytsky (PP, 17:49 1st) redirected a shot from in front of the goalie crease to double the lead, 2-0. Bulls forward Joey Molinaro (8:26 2nd) gained some help with a deflection off an IceRays defenseman to triple the lead, 3-0. The IceRays answered back with forward Mason Krueger (PP, 10:21 2nd) open in the slot to cut the lead down to 3-1. IceRays forward Stevie Bryant (4:11 3rd) brought the team back within one, 3-2, but a late push couldn't complete the comeback.
Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (9-22-4) turned aside 33 of 35 shots in the win, and IceRays goalie Graham Hunt (10-11-3) stopped 35 of 38 shots in the loss.
Friday, February 5 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 6 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:30 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays open the month of February on the road against the Lone Star Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Centre and begins a five-game stretch against each other. The IceRays split their last meetings with the Brahmas while taking three of four points while holding a 2-2-1 record in the season series so far. They've earned two wins over the last three seasons in North Richland Hills, going 2-5-3 while holding a 10-8-3 all-time record in that same time span.
The Lone Star Brahmas split their two-game weekend set against the Odessa Jackalopes at the Ector County Coliseum with a 4-2 win on Friday and a 4-1 loss on Saturday. Forward Alex Berardinelli led the way with three points (2+1=3) in Friday's win including the first and last goals of the evening and was joined by forward Peter Kessel (two assists) as the only two Brahmas with multi-point weekends. In total, 11 different players earned at least one point. Goalie Conor O'Brien saved 28 of 30 shots in Friday's win, and Corbin Kaczperski stopped 11 of 15 shots in the loss.
South Division Recap:
The Wichita Falls Wildcats suffered just their second loss of the season while splitting their weekend set with the Topeka RoadRunners. The Lone Star Brahmas and Odessa Jackalopes also swapped wins in the Permian Basin with the winner earning four goals in each game. The Corpus Christi IceRays and Amarillo Bulls had the same score in both results last weekend in the Coastal Bend with the IceRays winning on Saturday and the Bulls gaining the victory on Sunday. With all six teams splitting their weekends, separation from each position remains the same as it did heading into last weekend.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 32-7-3, 67 points
Lone Star Brahmas 25-9-7, 57 points
Topeka RoadRunners 26-16-1, 53 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 17-18-4, 38 points
Odessa Jackalopes 14-19-4, 32 points
Amarillo Bulls 9-27-4, 22 points
IN THE NEWS…
The NAHL announced the format for the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs on Tuesday morning. The top-four teams in each division will enter the playoffs in a best-of-five divisional semifinal. Each divisional team that wins the round will enter the divisional finals and enter another five-game set. Once one team from each division arises from their playoff rounds, they'll enter the Robertson Cup Final Four at Braemar Ice Arena in Edina, MN from May 12 through May 15. Seeding will be based on regular season record with a one-four-seed matchup and two-three-seed matchup in best-of-three series. The winners will play in a single championship game that weekend. Overtime will be a five-on-five, sudden-victory format with 20-minute periods until a goal is scored.
The IceRays concluded January with a 5-4-1 record through ten games, which follows their best month during December. In that time, the IceRays swept Topeka for the first time in franchise history while completing their season series with a 5-2-1 record, earned just their second franchise win on the road against the Brahmas, and split three weekends during the month. They also ended a five-game win streak that spanned into the new month. Over their last two months, the IceRays own a 11-5-1 record with 23 points. In their first three months, the IceRays went 6-12-3.
– Defend The Bend –