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 2014-15 season.
Friday, February 20: RGV Killer Bees 4, IceRays 1
Shots: Killer Bees 31, IceRays 32
PP: Killer Bees 1-for-2, IceRays 0-for-6
The Corpus Christi IceRays (25-16-5) were stifled by the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (20-20-7) on Friday night from the American Bank Center, falling 4-1 in the first of the weekend set.
Killer Bees defenseman Daniel Nilsson (PP, 10:16 1st) tallied first in the opening period, and forward Logan Wendling (11:16 1st) followed up with the road side's second goal in just 59 seconds. A third unanswered goal by Killer Bees forward Stathis Soumelidis (1:02 2nd) forced a goaltending change for the IceRays. A goal finally came for the IceRays in the third period from forward Mason Krueger (7:42 3rd), but the surge came up short when Killer Bees forward Anthony Croston (EN, 19:33 3rd) sealed the win.
Killer Bees goaltender Ben Johansson (11-8-3) earned the win, saving 31 of 32 shots. IceRays netminder Luke Pickar (7-7-2) picked up the loss and started the game, stopping 11 of 14 shots through 21:02 minutes. Andrew Lindgren turned aside all 16 shots faced in 37:44 minutes of relief.
Saturday, February 21: RGV Killer Bees 0, IceRays 1 (SO)
Shots: Killer Bees 26, IceRays 29
PP: Killer Bees 0-for-4, IceRays 0-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (26-16-5) earned their second shutout of the season as part of a 1-0 (3-2) shootout win over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (20-20-8) on Saturday night from the American Bank Center.
With a lot of open chances and no scoring through 65 minutes of game time, the IceRays headed into their seventh shootout of the season. Defenseman Anthony Cortese (1st Round) opened the shootout with a goal, which was immediately answered by Killer Bees forward Zach Bennett (1st Round). Killer Bees forward Anthony Croston (2nd Round) gave the road side a 2-1 lead through two rounds, and from there it was all Corpus Christi. Forwards Wes Michaud (3rd Round) and Ryan Cusin (4th Round) each tallied to gain a 3-2 edge, and the final three Killer Bees shooters were shut down to give the IceRays the win.
Andrew Lindgren (19-9-3) earned his second shutout this season, stopping all 26 shots faced and three of five in the shootout, while opposing netminder Ben Johansson (11-8-4) grabbed the loss, turning aside all 29 shots against with two of five in the shootout.
Friday, February 27, 2015 @ Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 28, 2015 @ Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – 7:30 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays continue their five-game stint against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees with a two-game set on the road from State Farm Arena. The Killer Bees maintain an edge in the South Texas Vo Tech Cup, winning five of their nine meetings. They can still claim the series victory for the second-straight year with two more wins. Overall, the IceRays are 9-10-2 in two seasons against the Killer Bees.
The IceRays (26-16-5, 57 points) saw no change in their gap from the top-three teams in the South Division, still trailing by eight to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (32-13-1, 65 points), who have a chance to clinch a playoff spot this weekend. However, with a sweep last weekend, the Wenatchee Wild (22-20-7, 51 points) have made up two points on the IceRays, now trailing for first round home ice advantage by just six points. The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (20-20-8, 48 points) increased their security for six place by two more points over the Amarillo Bulls (19-25-4, 42 points). The Lone Star Brahmas (31-11-7) clinched a playoff spot, joining the top-ranked Topeka RoadRunners (34-11-4, 72 points) as the only two South Division teams to clinch the playoffs. The Odessa Jackalopes (9-33-6, 24 points) will be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with any Killer Bees win or overtime loss or any Jackalopes loss.
Topeka RoadRunners – clinched playoffs
Lone Star Brahmas – clinched playoffs
Wichita Falls Wildcats – clinch with win OR Amarillo regulation loss
Odessa Jackalopes – eliminated with loss OR RGV win OR RGV overtime loss
South Division Matchups:
Lone Star Brahmas (2nd) @ Odessa Jackalopes (8th) – Fri. & Sat. – 7:05 p.m.
Wichita Falls Wildcats (3rd) @ Topeka RoadRunners (1st) – Fri. & Sat. – 7:05 p.m.
Amarillo Bulls (7th) @ Wenatchee Wild (5th) – Sat. (9:05 p.m.) – Sun. (1:05 p.m.)
Saturday night was the first IceRays shutout in 42 games and the second overall this season. The only other time opponents have been held off the scoreline was on Sep. 19 against the Wenatchee Wild (2-0 W) at the NAHL Showcase. Andrew Lindgren was the winning netminder in both games, and he stopped 27 shots in that last game as well as a combined 43 shots over those two games.
After dropping their first four shootouts, the IceRays have now won three-straight games ending in the skill competition over their preview 12 games (35 total days). That result is the first in junior franchise history in an overtime or shootout win. The last time the IceRays won three-straight shootouts was in the 2012-13 season when the squad defeated the Amarillo Bulls 4-3 (3-1) on Jan. 19, 2013, the Topeka RoadRunners 3-2 (2-0) on Feb. 1, 2013, and the Wichita Falls Wildcats 5-4 (3-1) on Mar. 9, 2013. That stretch took 49 days and were stretched over 13 games. The most consecutive shootout wins came in the inaugural 2010-11 season, during which the IceRays won their first six shootouts including three in a four-game span (Oct. 1, 2010 – Oct. 10, 2010).
Three IceRays skaters will be competing in the 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament today and tomorrow in Ann Arbor, Mich. Tanner Lomsnes, Nic LaBurn, and Logan Gestro will be playing with Team South against Team USA 18U tonight at 6:00 p.m. and tomorrow against Team Central at 1:00 p.m. Fans can watch the games on FASTHockey.com and follow the IceRays Twitter (@goicerays) for IceRays player updates.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
IceRays players will be playing broom ball with the Miracle League on Tuesday, February 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the American Bank Center Arena. The IceRays are teaching children with disabilities the concept, rules, and game mechanics in preparation for a broom ball game during an upcoming IceRays home contest. This event is open to the media.
On Wednesday, February 25, the IceRays and Stinger Ray will be spending time with patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital on South Alameda Street beginning at 2:00 p.m. This event is not open to the public.
Stinger Ray will be kept very busy on Thursday, February 26 in the community. At 12:00 p.m., the beloved IceRays mascot will be appearing at the TLC Complete Care's Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for their brand new 24-hour facility. This event is open to the public and media. From 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Stinger Ray will be joined by IceRays players during a tradeshow at Gulf Coast Racing.
– Go IceRays –