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, November 13: IceRays 3, Odessa Jackalopes 5
Shots: IceRays 27, Jackalopes 28
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Jackalopes 3-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (5-10-2) made a late charge but were held off by the Odessa Jackalopes (8-5-1) on Friday night at the Ector County Coliseum.
Odessa forward Derek Brown (SH, 8:34 1st) scored the third short-handed goal against the IceRays this season to take an early lead. IceRays forward Brad Power (5:21 2nd) tied the game, 1-1, after creating an offensive turnover. Odessa forwards Brandon Tucker (PP, 8:28 2nd) and Hampus Sjodahl (PP, 10:02 2nd) converted on their only power plays of the second period to take a 3-1 lead. IceRays forward Brad LeLievre (11:04 3rd) drew the road side within one, 3-2, with a one-time goal before another man-advantage goal for Odessa by forward Oliver Celec (PP, 15:49 3rd). The IceRays came back within one, 4-3, with a one-timer by defenseman Michael Bevilacqua (17:29 3rd), but Odessa defenseman Cooper Zech (EN, 19:10 3rd) sealed the 5-3 win late in the game.
Jackalopes goaltender Dean Shatzer (3-4-0) stopped 24 of 27 shots in the win, while netminder Dryden McKay (3-5-1) saved 23 of 27 shots in the loss.
Saturday, November 14: IceRays 2, Odessa Jackalopes 3 (SO)
Shots: IceRays 24, Jackalopes 51
PP: IceRays 0-for-2, Jackalopes 0-for-5
The Corpus Christi IceRays (5-10-3) pushed the Odessa Jackalopes (9-5-1) into a shootout but fell 3-2 (1-0 shootout) on Saturday night at the Ector County Coliseum.
IceRays forward Drake Lindsay (9:02 1st) scored the game's opening goal to give the road team a 1-0 lead before Jackalopes forward Hampus Sjodahl (SH, 13:26 1st) took advantage of play in front of the IceRays' net to tie the game, 1-1, after one period. The Jackalopes took a 2-1 lead when forward Zach Zech (8:28 2nd) poked home a mid-game goal. With the netminder pulled, IceRays forward Brad Power (EA, 18:40 3rd) pushed the game into overtime, 2-2, with a late game goal. After a scoreless overtime, Jackalopes forward Derek Brown was the only player to score in the shootout, giving Odessa the edge, 3-2 (1-0).
Jackalopes goaltender Gunner Rivers (6-1-0) turned aside 22 of 24 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (2-5-2) saved a season-high 48 of 50 shots in the loss.
Thursday, November 19 vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 10:45 a.m.
Friday, November 20 vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 7:11 p.m.
Saturday, November 21 vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 7:11 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays open a three-game, three-day set and their final South Division season series against the Lone Star Brahmas from the American Bank Center. The IceRays and Brahmas will play 12 games for the first time in their third season series dating back to 2013-14. Last season, the IceRays were edged in their eight-game series, owning a 3-4-1 record and winning three of four games in the Coastal Bend. Over the last two seasons, the IceRays hold the franchise series record at 8-6-1. The previous franchise, the Texas Tornado, gave the IceRays a 9-24-3 record from 2010-13.
THURSDAY – The IceRays host their annual Kids' Day Game, presented by Cheniere, Shale Magazine, SMG Management, STEER, and Texas A&M Kingsville. Middle and high schools will pack the arena to not only watch the game but also receive educational presentations and networking opportunities within the oil & gas industry, courtesy of Cheniere and STEER. For the general public, Thursday is a Winning Weekday, which means buy-one, get-one free tickets are available at the American Bank Center Box Office.
FRIDAY – Though there are no large promotions, the IceRays host another Frosty Friday game with $1 beer and sodas on tap all evening long.
SATURDAY – The IceRays, in partnership with Whataburger and First Title Company, host their 8th annual Stars & Stripes Night. All week long, the IceRays will be wearing military-themed jerseys during games, and these uniforms will be available for the general public to bid on in the Eddie Jackson, New York Life Post-Game Jersey Auction following the game. Local first responders and military members have been receiving tickets to the evening's game as a "thank you" for their hard work protecting our nation, Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend area.
The Lone Star Brahmas continued their strong start to the 2015-16 season with a weekend sweep of the Amarillo Bulls at the NYTEX SportsCentre in North Richland Hills with a 4-1 win on Friday and a 4-3 comeback win on Saturday. Forward Kyle Patava led the way for the Brahmas with four points (one goal, three assists) over those two games with a pair of points in each, and forwards Bud Madej (goal, two assists) and Cody Wickline (three assists) followed suit with three-point weekends. Only three players earned points in each game: Patava, Madej and Martin Mellberg (two assists). Goaltender Connor O'Brien stopped 16 of 17 shots in Friday's win, and Corbin Kaczperski saved 17 of 20 shots in Saturday's win.
South Division Recap:
For the first time this season, the Wichita Falls Wildcats were defeated at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in a weekend split with the Topeka RoadRunners, but with a win on Friday night the Wildcats become one of two teams in the NAHL with 30 points or more, joining the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (16-4-1, 33 points) atop the league. The Lone Star Brahmas gained a full four points on the weekend at home and remains as the only team in the NAHL without a home regulation win (7-0-1 at home). The RoadRunners jump back to .500 in their weekend split, however the Odessa Jackalopes now move within three points of Topeka with seven more games to play thanks to a full four-point sweep at home. The Corpus Christi IceRays did gain one point, breaking the deadlock for fifth with the Amarillo Bulls, who remain in last place with another weekend sweep.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 14-3-2, 30 points
Lone Star Brahmas 11-1-3, 25 points
Topeka RoadRunners 11-11-0, 22 points
Odessa Jackalopes 9-5-1, 19 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 5-10-3, 13 points
Amarillo Bulls 5-14-2, 12 points
IceRays goaltender Graham Hunt had an impeccable performance on Saturday night despite the shootout loss, saving a season-high 48 shots on 50 chances. In the process, the 20-year-old set a new franchise record for saves in a period with 27 stops, overtaking the old record of 24 set on March 17, 2012 in Amarillo (Anthony Stolarz). The 28 shots allowed that period also sets a new franchise-high, topping the previous record of 27 shots from Oct. 24, 2010 against the Texas Tornado (Pheonix Copley). In 316 games, IceRays goaltenders have stopped 20 or more shots in a period just 10 times across seven different netminders, and two of the seven have performed this feat multiple times: Stolarz (3) and Ben Myers (2).
The IceRays were swept by the Jackalopes for just the fifth time in junior franchise history and the first since Nov. 15-16, 2013 at the Ector County Coliseum, during which the Jackalopes edged out the IceRays by one goal in each match. During that 2013-14 season and the 2011-12 season, the IceRays were swept two times in four weekend series by Odessa. Over their five-year history of games, the IceRays have earned 11 sweeps, were swept five times, and had a split or non-sweep five more times. This season, the IceRays have been swept in two-straight weekends and now four times in seven weekends.
For the fourth time this year, the IceRays have scored a game-tying goal within the final five minutes of the third period to force overtime following Saturday's late-game goal by Brad Power with an extra attacker at 1:20 left in the game against Odessa. Three of the four goals have come within the final two minutes of the game with the goalie pulled, the latest occurring with 1:02 left in the game two different times: Sep. 24 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Carter Johnson) and Oct. 24 against Topeka (Mason Krueger, PPG). In those games, however, the IceRays have gone 1-3 in overtime and shootout results (1-1 in OT, 0-2 in SO).
IN THE COMMUNITY…
This morning, the IceRays visited the Corpus Christi Army Depot for a tour of their facilities and to meet the men and women both military and civilian who work in the largest U.S. Army depot in the world. The players handed out tickets for Saturday's game and met the workers while wearing their military-themed uniforms. We will be sharing photos from the trip in the next day or so.
On Saturday morning, the IceRays will be supporting March for 22 at Sherrill Park with the first step opening at 12:00 p.m. March for 22 is a 10-kilometer walk by military veterans wearing 22-pound bags to help raise awareness for military mental health and aid in dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to prevent self-inflicted harm. Only veterans are allowed to walk in the event. For more information, visit their Facebook page (March for 22 Corpus Christi).
– Defend The Bend –