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, October 30: IceRays 1, Wichita Falls Wildcats 3
Shots: IceRays 16, Wildcats 21
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Wildcats 1-for-2
The Corpus Christi IceRays (5-8-2) were dropped 3-1 by the Wichita Falls Wildcats (11-1-2) on Friday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
Wildcats forward Ryan Burnett (5:01 1st) found the first goal with a snipe from the left circle to take a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats doubled the lead, 2-0, on their first of only two power play chances when forward Nikita Litviak (PP, 14:44 2nd) was found for a back-door goal. Less than a minute later, forward Austin Beaulieu (15:23 2nd) tripled the Wildcats lead, 3-0, on a redirection in front of the net. The IceRays found an answer late in the game with a rebound goal from forward Regen Cavanagh (18:55 3rd) to avoid the shutout, however they could not pull off the comeback, falling 3-1.
Wildcats goaltender Julian Sime (3-1-1) saved 15 of 16 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Dryden McKay (3-4-1) stopped 18 of 21 shots in the loss.
Saturday, October 31: IceRays 0, Wichita Falls Wildcats 3
Shots: IceRays 17, Wildcats 36
PP: IceRays 0-for-1, Wildcats 1-for-3
The Corpus Christi IceRays (5-9-2) were shut out for the first time this season, 3-0, by the Wichita Falls Wildcats (12-1-2) on Saturday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
Wildcats forward Austin Albrecht (4:23 1st) tapped in a back-handed rebound to get the home side on the board first, 1-0, for the fourth-straight time in four meetings. Following a disallowed goal and a delay of game penalty, Wildcats forward Jonathan Lazarus (PP, 5:04 2nd) was found on the back door for a one-time shot to double up the lead, 2-0. Later in the game, Wildcats forward Aleksi Poikola (12:09 3rd) was found in a similar fashion in the right circle to triple the lead, 3-0.
Wildcats goaltender Julian Sime (4-1-1) saved all 17 shots faced in his first shutout win, and IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (2-5-1) turned aside 33 of 36 shots in the loss.
The Corpus Christi IceRays begin one of their two off-weekends in the month of November out of a possible three during the entire 2015-16 season. Over the next month, the IceRays will play a total of five games: two on the road and three at home sandwiched by off-weekends due to routine scheduling and Thanksgiving weekend. This is the only time that the IceRays have played five games or fewer in a calendar month excluding September (NAHL Showcase) and April (end of the season).
South Division Recap:
Thanks to their sweep at home, the Wichita Falls Wildcats continue their purge on the South Division, earning points in now their 14th-straight game. They rest second in the NAHL in points and first in win percentage (.867). Another top team in the division, the Lone Star Brahmas, earned a full four points in a weekend sweep, with theirs on the road, to keep pace with the Wildcats. The Topeka RoadRunners found another split weekend against Springfield on the road to remain at .500 for the season. The Odessa Jackalopes had the weekend off, but with five games in-hand over the RoadRunners there is a large chance that the team could take third place. The Corpus Christi IceRays have now dropped three-straight games after their weekend sweep at the hands of the Wildcats, and the Amarillo Bulls couldn't make up any ground in their sweep at home at the hands of the Brahmas.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 12-1-2, 26 points
Lone Star Brahmas 9-1-3, 21 points
Topeka RoadRunners 9-9-0, 18 points
Odessa Jackalopes 7-5-1, 15 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 5-9-2, 12 points
Amarillo Bulls 4-11-2, 8 points
The IceRays finished the first quarter of the 2015-16 season last night with a 5-8-2 record and 12 points. Compared to past seasons, the IceRays are right around where they’ve landed in past seasons. Over the last six years, the team has earned an average of 14.17 points through their first 15 games with their best season coming in 2011-12 (9-6-0, 18 points). Only twice has the franchise earned more than five wins in the first quarter (2011-12 & 2014-15). However, they do share the least amount of points earned in the early stretch (2013-14: 4-7-4, 12 points).
For the first time this season, the IceRays were shut out by an opponent on Saturday night against the Wildcats. Despite the offensive struggles so far, this is the second-longest span without a shutout against to start a season in the past six years, only beaten out by the 2012-13 season when it took 36 games for the IceRays to record a goose egg. The IceRays are averaging 2.94 goals against per game, which ranks 15th in the NAHL and 4th in the South Division ahead of Odessa (16th, 3.00) and Amarillo (19th, 3.53).
The IceRays have now dropped five-straight games away from the American Bank Center dating back to the NAHL Showcase on Sep. 26. In that span, the IceRays have been outscored 18-5 in those five games and have been held to two goals or less in every game while earning a 0-4-1 record. The IceRays began the season with a 2-1-0 road record and have slipped to 2-5-1. Including the NAHL Showcase games as contests away from the American Bank Center, the IceRays are now 2-7-1 thus far on the season. The skid is tied for the second-highest active streak and the third-highest in the NAHL this season. Only Amarillo (8) and Kenai River (7, active) have longer non-road wins this year.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
The IceRays and Stinger Ray will be attending Santa's Arrival at La Palmera Mall on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., which will feature the return of the Holiday Light Spectacular. A handful of players and the beloved mascot will join the Corpus Christi community for the event. This event is open to the public.
Wilkinson Chevrolet in Refugio will host the IceRays for a Meet & Greet on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the car dealership. Fans in the area can stop by to meet with the team, sign autographs, and enjoy an afternoon with the players. The event is open to the public.
– Defend The Bend –