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, September 18: IceRays 3, Topeka RoadRunners 1
Shots: IceRays 18, RoadRunners 25
PP: IceRays 0-for-3, RoadRunners 0-for-5
The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-0-0) opened the 2015-16 season with a 3-1 win over the Topeka RoadRunners (1-2-0) on Friday night from the Kansas ExpoCentre.
IceRays forward Andrew McGlynn (18:59 1st) earned the team’s first goal of the season on a shot from the left wall to take a 1-0 lead. The RoadRunners tied the game, 1-1, on another odd-angle shot, this time it was forward Matt Jennings (10:14 2nd) from the left corner. Just before the end of the period, IceRays defenseman Michael Bevilacqua (19:47 2nd) ripped a slap shot from outside the left circle to take back the lead, 2-1. A turnover in the neutral zone led to a two-on-one rush and an open chance for IceRays forward Ryan Cusin (7:09 3rd) to knock in the insurance goal, 3-1.
IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (1-0-0) earned the win, saving 34 of 35 shots, while RoadRunners goaltender Vladimir Cibulka (1-1-0) picked up the loss, stopping 14 of 17 shots.
Sunday, September 20: IceRays 1, Topeka RoadRunners 2
Shots: IceRays 14, RoadRunners 35
PP: IceRays 1-for-5, RoadRunners 1-for-6
The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-1-0) could not complete the weekend sweep, falling 2-1 to the Topeka RoadRunners (2-2-0) on Sunday night from the Kansas ExpoCentre.
For the second-straight game, IceRays forward Andrew McGlynn (PP, 2:53 1st) claimed the game’s opening goal on a chance down low and put the road side ahead 1-0. After a goal was called back on Topeka later that period, the RoadRunners knotted the game, 1-1, on a snipe by forward Quinn Preston (5:53 2nd) from the left circle. Later in the period, RoadRunners defenseman Ryan O’Connor (PP, 10:27 2nd) scored through a screen at the left point just seven seconds into a man-advantage to put Topeka up 2-1.
RoadRunners goaltender Tyler Johnson (1-1-0) earned the win, turning aside 13 of 14 shots, while IceRays netminder Dryden McKay (0-1-0) grabbed the loss, stopping 33 of 35 shots.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 vs. Johnstown Tomahawks – 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 24, 2015 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – 1:15 p.m.
Friday, September 25, 2015 vs. Springfield Jr. Blues – 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ Minot Minotauros – 12:15 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays open the 2015 NAHL Showcase on Wednesday, September 23 against the Johnstown Tomahawks at 1:30 p.m. from Schwan Super Rink 4. The two teams met back in the 2012 NAHL Showcase on the final day with the IceRays coming away with a 5-3 win. Last season, Johnstown split their showcase schedule 2-2 including a 4-0 loss to Topeka and a 6-4 win over Odessa. Over their last three seasons, they own a 5-5-2 record at the NAHL Showcase, and franchise holds a 21-23-5 record dating back to 2004 as the Springfield (MO) Spirit, Wasilla Spirit, and Alaska Avalanche. In May, the Tomahawks were crowned as the first Kraft Hockeyville USA winner while going 25-27-8 in the 2014-15 season and missing the playoffs by one point in the North Division.
Day two pits the IceRays against the expansion franchise Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Thursday, Sep. 24 at 1:15 p.m. in Schwan Super Rink 2. The Knights are one of three teams to be granted membership or relocate ahead of the 2015-16 season and the only of the three to jump junior tiers. For the past three seasons, the Knights have operated in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) as a USA Hockey-approved Tier-III franchise. Their membership is part of an eastern expansion for the NAHL, and they purchased the Dawson Creek Rage franchise, which has been dormant since the 2011-12 season. The IceRays owned a 1-1-0 record against Dawson Creek at the NAHL Showcase.
The team’s lone morning game comes on Friday, Sep. 25 against the Springfield Jr. Blues at 10:15 a.m. in Schwan Super Rink 2. The Jr. Blues carried a lot of misfortune in the 2014-15 season, finishing with a 23-31-6 record and last in the North Division. Despite their struggles, one reliable aspect of their roster was their goaltender: Dryden McKay. This off-season, the IceRays acquired McKay, who will have a chance to face-off against his former team. This will be the first meeting between the IceRays and the Jr. Blues at the NAHL Showcase. Springfield holds a 21-24-3 record at the NAHL Showcase dating back to 2004, however since the IceRays joined the NAHL in 2010 that record drops to 5-15-0.
The NAHL Showcase rounds out on Saturday, Sep. 26 with the third showcase meeting in five years with the Minot Minotauros at 12:15 p.m. in Schwan Super Rink 4. The two teams met for the first time in 2011 with the IceRays pulling out a 7-2 victory on the final day, and their next meeting in 2013 was a close finish with the IceRays once again walking away with a win, this time 5-4. The Minotauros finished second in the Central Division in 2014-15 with a 37-17-6 record and were runner-up to the NAHL Champions for the second-straight year following a knockout of a South Division opponent in the playoffs. Minot went 2-2-0 last season in the showcase and own a 5-9-2 record over the last four seasons.
South Division Standings:
Topeka RoadRunners 2-2-0, 4 points
Wichita Falls Wildcats 1-1-0, 2 points
Amarillo Bulls 1-1-0, 2 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 1-1-0, 2 points
Lone Star Brahmas 1-0-0, 2 points
Odessa Jackalopes 0-1-0, 0 points
Over their first two games of the season and their lone pre-season game, the IceRays have been held to under 20 shots in each game. Not including pre-season action, the IceRays are averaging 16 shots per game and were outshot 60-32 despite outscoring Topeka 4-3 over the weekend. Last year’s squad never played two games with fewer than 20 shots, and it’s the least amount of shots in the opening two games in junior franchise history.
The NAHL Showcase is a four-day tournament hosted by the league that provides an opportunity for players to show their skills to college and professional hockey scouts at game speed as well as for coaches to evaluate their teams prior to the Oct. 1 roster deadline. All four games played count as part of the 60-game schedule, and rosters will be cut from 25 to 23 players following the weekend. The IceRays have appeared in 20 NAHL Showcase games over the past five seasons, recording a 10-7-3 record. Last season, the IceRays earned a 2-1-1 record and improved their overall record under head coach John Becanic to 3-3-2.
All games at the NAHL Showcase will be available exclusively on FASTHockey.com. Coverage will begin five minutes before the opening faceoff on each game with an abbreviated Countdown to Faceoff and without a post-game wrap-up or intermission features. Normal coverage will resume after the NAHL Showcase. Updates will also be provided on Twitter (@goicerays).
– Defend The Bend –