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, January 15: IceRays 5, Lone Star Brahmas 2
Shots: IceRays 18, Brahmas 19
PP: IceRays 2-for-5, Brahmas 0-for-6
The Corpus Christi IceRays (15-16-3) scored four in the third period to win 5-2 over the Lone Star Brahmas (22-8-5) on Friday night from the NYTEX Sports Centre.
Brahmas forward Alex Berardinelli (5:52 1st) redirected a shot in front of the net to give the home side a 1-0 lead. IceRays forward Regen Cavanagh (PP, 2:27 2nd) answered with his own redirection from Drake Lindsay to tie the game, 1-1. IceRays forward Brad Power (3:52 3rd) jammed in a low chance off a faceoff draw to give the IceRays a 2-1 lead. One minute later, IceRays defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort (4:53 3rd) sniped a shot fro the left circle to double the lead, 3-1. Berardinelli (SH, 15:15 3rd) earned his second of the night to cut the lead to one, 3-2. IceRays forward Carter Johnson (PP, 15:49 3rd; EN, 20:00 3rd) scored while wide open in the slot on the power play then scored an empty net goal from center ice to help claim the 5-2 win.
IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (10-9-2) saved 17 of 19 shots in the win. Brahmas goaltender Conor O’Brien (7-3-4) stopped nine of 12 in 44:46 minutes during the loss, and Corbin Kaczperski turned away four of five shots in 12:40 minutes of relief.
Saturday, January 16: IceRays 1, Lone Star Brahmas 2 (OT)
Shots: IceRays 24, Brahmas 43
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Brahmas 1-for-9
The Corpus Christi IceRays (15-16-4) fell in the dying seconds of overtime in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas (23-8-5) on Saturday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.
Brahmas forward Alex Berardinelli (PP, 11:09 1st) scored his third of the weekend to jumpstart Lone Star with a 1-0 lead. The IceRays held off the home side into the third period, where IceRays forward Nathan Bryer (14:52 3rd) capitalized on a turnover behind the Brahmas net to tie the game, 1-1. Within the final second of overtime, Brahmas forward Hogan Davidson (4:59 OT) floated a shot from the slot to seal the 2-1 victory for the opposition.
Brahmas goaltender Corbin Kaczperski (15-5-1) turned aside 23 of 24 shots in the win, and IceRays goalie Graham Hunt (10-9-3) stopped down 41 of 43 shots in the overtime loss.
Thursday, January 21 vs. Topeka RoadRunners – 7:11 p.m.
Friday, January 22 vs. Topeka RoadRunners – 7:11 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays close out their 2015-16 season series with the Topeka RoadRunners with their first two home games of 2016 at the American Bank Center. The IceRays have already claimed at least a share of the season series for the first time in junior franchise history with a record-setting 4-1-1 record thanks to the team's first road sweep in Topeka. The RoadRunners still hold the all-time season set, winning 22 of 28 meetings, however the IceRays have leveled the ice during the last two seasons with a 5-3-2 record.
PROMOTIONS: The IceRays host their first two games of the 2016 calendar year with their last Thursday-Friday set of the year. Thursday night is a Winning Weekday, and fans can purchase buy-one, get-one tickets for the game through only the American Bank Center Box Office. Friday night is a Frosty Friday with $1 beer and sodas throughout the evening.
The Topeka RoadRunners finished a seven-game home stand with a three-game sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes from the Kansas Expocentre. Five players earned multi-goal weekends with four earning two-goal games through the set, including forward Andrew Hart (2+2=4) and defenseman Marshall Bowery (2+2=4), who both led the way in scoring. The other two were forwards Dominic Lutz (2+1=3) and Max Harper (2+1=3), and the four were part of nine different players with multi-point weekends. Goaltender Tyler Johnson saved 58 of 64 shots combined on Friday and Sunday, and Juho Niku stopped 25 of 26 on Saturday.
South Division Recap:
The Wichita Falls Wildcats earned their sixth-straight win thanks to a big road sweep of the Amarillo Bulls on the road, outscoring their opposition 12-1 over the weekend including an 8-0 win on Saturday night to increase their lead atop the South Division and their place leading the NAHL. The Lone Star Brahmas split their weekend set against the Corpus Christi IceRays, dropping to a ten-point difference from the top spot in the division while the IceRays earned three points and continue to secure the final playoff spot with an eight-point lead. The team below them, the Odessa Jackalopes, were swept by the Topeka RoadRunners for their sixth-straight loss and 14 of their last 15 games. The RoadRunners, on the other hand, moved within two points of second place and ahead of fourth by 15 with three more games played than Lone Star and four more played than Corpus Christi.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 29-5-2, 61 points
Lone Star Brahmas 23-8-5, 51 points
Topeka RoadRunners 24-14-1, 49 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 15-16-4, 34 points
Odessa Jackalopes 11-18-4, 26 points
Amarillo Bulls 8-25-3, 17 points
IN THE NEWS…
The IceRays announced Half-Season Ticket Plans available only until Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 5:00 p.m. for the remaining 15 home games at the American Bank Center for the 2015-16 season. Plans begin at $142 for general admission seating and $118 for children ages 12 and under with premium seating listed at just under $300 for the rest of the season. New half-season ticket holders will also receive one reserved parking pass for all home games, discounts on team merchandise and additional tickets, first renewal rights for the 2016-17 season, and more.
The IceRays finished their annual six-game January road trip with a 3-2-1 record against the South Division's top-three teams while also gaining their lead for the fourth and final playoff spot. During their trip, the IceRays were outscored only 17-15 while sweeping Topeka for the first time in junior franchise history, earning the team's first shutout on January 1 in Topeka and taking three of four points in a road set against Lone Star for the first time in junior franchise history. The cushion for fourth place is now five points thanks to the team's recent success.
The penalty kill unit has been a difference-maker over the team's last three games to keep the IceRays in contention for wins and points. The IceRays have taken four major penalties (with one reduced post-game) over their last three games and allowed only one goal during that 20-minute period. The IceRays stopped 14 of 15 attempts in two games against the Brahmas last weekend and moved up while holding firm in the top-10 in the league in kill percentage.
– Defend The Bend –