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 11: Amarillo Bulls 1, IceRays 2
Shots: Bulls 28, IceRays 47
PP: Bulls 1-for-5, IceRays 2-for-9
The Corpus Christi IceRays (9-12-3) converted on special teams to take a 2-1 win over the Amarillo Bulls (6-20-3) on Friday night at the American Bank Center.
Bulls forward Tyler Hall (PP, 1:30 1st) opened the game with the first goal for either side to give Amarillo a 1-0 lead. IceRays forward Toby Kircher (PP, 3:29 2nd) answered back with a sparkling move to tie the game, 1-1. Late in the game, IceRays forward Regen Cavanagh (PP, 11:06 3rd) put back a rebound chance in front of the net to give the IceRays their first and only lead, 2-1. Despite Amarillo pulling their netminder late, the IceRays held on for the win.
IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (5-6-1) stopped 27 of 28 shots in the win, and Anton Martinsson (6-15-3) saved 45 of 47 shots in the loss.
Saturday, December 12: Amarillo Bulls 2, IceRays 1
Shots: Bulls 27, IceRays 32
PP: Bulls 0-for-5, IceRays 0-for-3
The Corpus Christi IceRays (9-13-3) fought back in the third period but couldn't overcome early goals, falling 2-1 to the Amarillo Bulls (7-20-3) on Saturday night at the American Bank Center.
Bulls forward George Mika (4:49 1st) opened the scoring with an extra chance from consecutive rebounds to put Amarillo up 1-0. Michael Forman (9:48 1st) doubled the lead, 2-0, with a stuffer to the right of the IceRays netminder. IceRays forward Brad LeLievre (SH, 6:26 3rd) scored his first short-handed goal of the year with a slap shot from the blue line to draw the scoreline to where it rested, 2-1.
Bulls goalie Anton Martinsson (7-15-3) stopped 31 of 32 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (4-7-2) turned aside 25 of 27 shots in the loss.
Friday, December 18 @ Amarillo Bulls – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 @ Amarillo Bulls – 7:05 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays head back on the road and finish their back-to-back weekend series with the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. With the split last weekend, the IceRays and Bulls are once again even with a 3-2-1 series record at the mid-way mark of the season set. This is the third time over the past six seasons that the IceRays and Bulls have played back-to-back weekends, and the two teams have split the weekend sets three of four times. The Bulls own the franchise series, putting the IceRays to a 18-37-1 record as well as a 7-17-2 road record. Over the last two seasons, the IceRays have gone 6-5-2 against Amarillo.
South Division Recap:
The Wichita Falls Wildcats have asserted their dominance atop the South Division with their road sweep of the Lone Star Brahmas with a 2-1 and 5-1 win from the NYTEX SportsCentre, which makes it four wins in five games against the Brahmas ahead of their three-in-three this weekend from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The Topeka RoadRunners continued their winning ways with their eighth and ninth-straight wins, taking down the Odessa Jackalopes 7-2 and 6-2 on the road from the Ector County Coliseum and taking sole possession of second place. The Corpus Christi IceRays and Amarillo Bulls each gained two points on a playoff spot with their split weekend in the Coastal Bend ahead of their two game set this weekend.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 23-3-2, 48 points
Topeka RoadRunners 19-11-0, 38 points
Lone Star Brahmas 15-6-4, 34 points
Odessa Jackalopes 10-11-3, 23 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 9-13-3, 21 points
Amarillo Bulls 7-20-3, 17 points
IN THE NEWS…
The IceRays signed two more tender contracts for the 2016-17 season, bringing on forwards Dane Johnson from the Omaha AAA Lancers U18 (NAPHL) and Tommy Parrottino from the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (T1EHL). Johnson has played 20 games this season, recording 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points with 10 penalty minutes including nine points in five games at the NAPHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn. He shares the team lead in goals and is second in points. Parrottino leads the T1EHL in goals and points with 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points through 18 games this season. He also participated in the USA-Select U17 tournament, recording three goals and three assists for six points in five games.
Early in the week, IceRays defenseman Simon Butala was recalled by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) for four games prior to the holiday break. Butala owns five assists through 14 games with the IceRays this season and makes his third trip in two seasons to the Tier I level. He has 50 penalty minutes in 11 games between the Sioux City Musketeers and RoughRiders over the last two seasons. Butala began the 2015-16 season in the USHL with Cedar Rapids.
IceRays forward Brad LeLievre scored his first short-handed goal of the season on Saturday night, marking the second time an IceRays player has scored on the penalty kill. It's also the second time in as many home weekends that the IceRays have converted when down a player. The disadvantage goal is the second of LeLievre's NAHL career with the first coming on Mar. 20, 2015 in Odessa as part of a 5-3 road win. That goal was also his final of the 2014-15 season with three games remaining.
The mini win streak for the IceRays came to an end on Saturday in their loss to the Bulls. During their three-game streak, the IceRays earned three-straight one-goal results and scored 10 goals (3.33 goals per game) against their opposition while putting up 111 shots (37 shots per game). Despite the setback, the IceRays have won three of their last five games as well as four of their last seven, improving to only two points back of a playoff spot.
The IceRays continue to play in close, low-scoring contests as evidenced last weekend against Amarillo. Specifically against the Bulls, both sides have only scored three or more goals twice (Oct. 2 vs. AMA, 3-2 W; Oct. 16 @ AMA, 5-2 L) and have seen one-goal differentials in five of their six games (four of those five games ended in 2-1 results). The IceRays have played 14 one-goal games, going 8-3-3 in those sets, and the Bulls are 4-7-3 in 14 one-goal games. Additionally, the IceRays have scored three goals or less in 22 of 25 games and have seen three goals or less against in 17 of 25 games.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
While the IceRays are out-of-town, Stinger Ray will join staff at Sames Ford on South Padre Island Drive (SPID) on Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. to help out in a toy drive to benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Coastal Bend. This even is open to the public. The IceRays will continue to aid CASA this season during the Oil & Gas Night on Jan. 30, 2016.
– Defend The Bend –