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, December 18: Amarillo Bulls 3, IceRays 1
Shots: Bulls 38, IceRays 42
PP: Bulls 1-for-8, IceRays 1-for-8
The Corpus Christi IceRays (9-14-3) were downed by early goals, falling 3-1 to the Amarillo Bulls (8-20-3) on Friday night at the Amarillo Civic Center.
Bulls forward Liam Ferguson (5:49 1st) put back in his own rebound to give Amarillo a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, Bulls forward Johan Lundgren (PP, 11:10 1st) was found open in the IceRays crease to double their lead, 2-0. While 4-on-4, Bulls forward Brady Crabtree (4:26 3rd) streaked in and slotted a short-side goal to triple the lead, 3-0. The IceRays found an answer from forward Brendan Miller (PP, 14:25 3rd) late in the game to break the shutout, 3-1, but a late push game up empty and the Bulls took the contest.
Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (8-15-3) saved 41 of 42 shots in the win, while Graham Hunt (4-8-2) stopped 35 of 38 shots in the loss.
Saturday, December 19: Amarillo Bulls 2, IceRays 6
Shots: Bulls 29, IceRays 36
PP: Bulls 1-for-6, IceRays 4-for-6
The Corpus Christi IceRays (10-14-3) scored four power play goals en route to their largest win of the season, a 6-2 victory over the Amarillo Bulls (8-21-3) on Saturday night at the Amarillo Civic Center.
IceRays forward Mason Krueger (6:09 1st) scored the game's first goal even-strength before the road side opened up the game on the power play. Defenseman Michael Bevilacqua (PP, 13:00 1st) ripped a shot from the blue line, forward Brendan Miller (PP, 16:03 1st) redirected a shot in front of the net coming from Bevilacqua, and forward Brad Power (PP, 16:20 1st) slapped a shot from the high shot to give the IceRays a 4-0 lead after the first period. IceRays forward Toby Kircher (5:30 2nd) tapped in a one-time shot on a 2-on-0 to make it 5-0 Corpus Christi. Bulls forward Liam Ferguson (PP, 8:20 2nd) put the home side on the board before IceRays forward Regen Cavanagh (PP, 19:03 2nd) placed the team's fourth power play goal on as many chances to take a 6-1 lead. Amarillo forward Jacob Nitsche (10:51 3rd) scored the game's final goal, resulting in the 6-2 decision.
IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (5-8-2) turned aside 27 of 29 shots in the win. Bulls goaltender Anton Martinsson (8-16-3) stopped 13 of 17 shots in 16:20 minutes with the loss, and Jacob Weatherly saved 17 of 19 shots in 43:40 minutes of relief.
The Corpus Christi IceRays are off this week due to the holiday break this coming weekend. This is the third and final off-week the IceRays have in the 2015-16 season. Starting next week, the IceRays will play in 15-straight weekends to close out their season in April with one game on a Tuesday (Dec. 29) and Wednesday (Dec. 30) as well as three on a Thursday (Jan. 21, Feb. 11 & Apr. 8). With only 27 games played, the IceRays are tied for the third-lowest games played with three other teams and two with fewer (Janesville: 26; Odessa: 24). The only teams to play this weekend are the Topeka RoadRunners and Lone Star Brahmas in a Saturday–Sunday set in Kansas.
South Division Recap:
For the first time this season, the Wichita Falls Wildcats were swept by an opponent, only getting one of a possible six points against the Lone Star Brahmas, which closes the gap between first and second place to nine points and also ties the Brahmas once again with the Topeka RoadRunners, who saw their second-highest win streak in junior franchise history (10 games) come to an end in their split weekend with the Springfield Jr. Blues. The Corpus Christi IceRays earned their second-straight split weekend with the Amarillo Bulls, keeping the gap between fifth and sixth at four points. However, thanks to an off-weekend for the Odessa Jackalopes, the IceRays are now tied four fourth place heading into the holidays.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 23-5-3 49 points
Topeka RoadRunners 20-12-0 40 points
Lone Star Brahmas 18-6-4 40 points
Odessa Jackalopes 10-11-3 23 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 10-14-3 23 points
Amarillo Bulls 8-21-3 19 points
IN THE NEWS…
Goaltender Dryden McKay was recalled by the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) on Wednesday, his first roster appearance in the USHL for his career. In 13 games this season, the 18-year-old owns a 5-6-1 record with a 3.02 GAA and a .900 SV%. Through his 50-game NAHL career, McKay has recorded a 20-24-3 record with a 2.84 GAA and a .913 SV%. He will miss six games for the IceRays including the two played last weekend and rejoin the team on January 3 following next week four-game, five-day stretch.
On Friday afternoon, the IceRays announced the acquisition of defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort from the Springfield Jr. Blues in exchange for a 2016 4th Round Pick. Lichtenvoort, 20, has appeared in 21 games between the Jr. Blues and Janesville Jets this season, recording three assists with 30 penalty minutes and a +3 rating. The veteran is in his third NAHL season, amassing 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points through 108 games with 188 penalty minutes and a -1 rating, playing his first two seasons with the Michigan Warriors.
For the first time this season, the IceRays recorded more than two power play goals in a single contest, grabbing four on their first four chances. The mark oversteps their previous high of two set on Dec. 11 against the Bulls in a 2-1 win at home and is the most in a game since Sep. 27, 2013 when the IceRays recorded a franchise-high five power play goals in a 8-0 rout of the Lone Star Brahmas. It's also the first time in junior franchise history the IceRays have been a perfect 3-for-3 after the first period as well as a perfect 4-for-4 through two periods, the most consecutive power play goals scored in chances ever. With their boom, the IceRays power play improves to 13.91% on the season, going 16-for-115 chances and moving from last in the NAHL to 19th place while tallying in nine goals over their last seven games.
The IceRays broke multiple season-highs in their win over the Bulls on Saturday. It was the first time the IceRays scored six or more goals this year and the second time this month with five or more, their four-goal first period was their largest single-period total of the year, topping the previous mark of three set on Dec. 4 against Odessa, the win doubled their largest margin of victory set on opening night in their 3-1 win over Topeka, they recorded the most power play goals in a game, and their three power play goals in the first period recorded season-highs for fastest two goals scored (0:17) and three goals scored (3:17). None of the above overtook franchise marks set in previous seasons.
Thanks to their win on Saturday, the IceRays now are in fourth place for the first time since Oct. 8 (18 games) and share the playoff position with the Odessa Jackalopes. Since the start of December, the IceRays have won four of their last six games including two against Odessa and Amarillo, scoring three or more goals in half of those contests (all wins) and outscoring opposition 18-14 in the process. In addition to their goal production, their shot production has ratcheted up, recording 30 or more shots in all but one game, bringing their monthly average to 36.83 shots per game on the month.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
The IceRays would like to wish all members of the Corpus Christi community and IceRays family a happy and safe holiday season! We look forward to seeing you on December 29 at the American Bank Center!
– Defend The Bend –