Jan 11, 2015

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, January 9: Jackalopes 2, IceRays 4
Shots: Jackalopes 32, IceRays 40
PP: Jackalopes 1-for-7, IceRays 0-for-8

The Corpus Christi IceRays (17-11-5) equaled their season-high in shots as they pushed past the Odessa Jackalopes (8-24-4) on Friday night at the American Bank Center.

The scoring didn't start until the second period, but forward Connor Kelly (SH, 10:44 2nd) scored a breakaway goal down a player to take the 1-0 lead. After an answer by Odessa before the end of the period, the IceRays opened the game in the third frame. Forwards Ryan Cusin (6:47 3rd) and Tanner Lomsnes (7:29 3rd) scored two goals less than a minute apart to jump out to a 3-1 lead. Though the Jackalopes cut the lead to one, forward Griff Jeszka (12:21 3rd) put the game away to take the 4-2 win. Odessa forwards Corey Hoffman (PP, 11:28 2nd) and Derek Brown (8:57 3rd) scored the Odessa tallies.

Goaltender Andrew Lindgren (13-7-3) earned the win, saving 30 of 32 shots, while Odessa netminder Tanner Creel (2-5-0) picked up the loss, turning aside 36 of 40 shots.


Saturday, January 10: Jackalopes 3, IceRays 4 (OT)
Shots: Jackalopes 24, IceRays 32
PP: Jackalopes 0-for-1, IceRays 0-for-2

The Corpus Christi IceRays (18-11-5) came from behind in the third period and won 4-3 in overtime against the Odessa Jackalopes (8-24-5) on Saturday night at the American Bank Center.

After trailing early, forward Wes Michaud (13:57 1st) tied the game 1-1 with a shot from the slot. The IceRays took the lead, 2-1, with the first NAHL goal by Maksim Dzhioshvili (2:41 2nd). Odessa would score two more goals to close out the second period and take a 3-2 lead. Another newcomer earned his first IceRays goal, forward Matt Colford (11:30 3rd), to tie the game 3-3 and head to overtime. Forward Nathan Bryer (2:46 OT) took a one-time shot to help claim the 4-3 win and sweep the weekend. Odessa forwards Derek Brown (1:15 1st; 11:02 2nd) and Hampus Sjodahl (19:42 2nd) combined for three goals on the night.

IceRays goaltender Luke Pickar (5-4-2) earned the win, turning away 21 of 24 shots, and Odessa netminder Tanner Creel (2-5-1) grabbed the loss while stopping 28 of 32 shots.


Friday, January 16, 2015 @ Wenatchee Wild – 9:05 p.m.
Saturday, January 17, 2015 @ Wenatchee Wild – 9:05 p.m.

The Corpus Christi IceRays begin a seven-game, 19-day road trip this weekend as they travel to Washington state to finish their season series with the Wenatchee Wild. The IceRays and Wild have met three times this season with the IceRays claiming wins in all three contests considered to be "home" games. The IceRays have outscored the Wild 7-3 and earned their only shutout of the season on Sep. 18 at the NAHL Showcase. The wins came on Sep. 18 (2-0 W), Oct. 3 (3-2 W), and Oct. 4 (2-1 W).

The Wenatchee Wild split their weekend series against the Lone Star Brahmas, losing 6-5 on Friday and winning 3-2 in overtime on Saturday. The Wild had a 3-0 lead on Friday before allowing five goals in the second period but came back in Saturday's game after trailing 2-0 going into the third period. Forward Dakota Raabe led the Wild on the weekend with four points (3 goals, assist) with defenseman Tyler Rockewell following right behind with three points (goal, 2 assists). Goaltender Zach Quinn picked up both decisions last weekend, saving 9 of 12 in relief on Friday and stopping 19 of 21 shots on Saturday.

The IceRays (18-11-5) and the Wenatchee Wild (14-17-6) in fourth and fifth, respectively, are separated by seven points in the South Division heading into the final weekend set between these two teams. The IceRays remain nine points behind the Wichita Falls Wildcats (25-9-0) despite picking up two points on all top-three teams, while the Wild have to fend off the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (13-17-5), who have slipped to three points behind the Wild for fifth place.

South Division Matchups:
Odessa Jackalopes (8th) @ Amarillo Bulls (7th) – Fri. & Sat. – 7:05 p.m.
Lone Star Brahmas (2nd) @ Topeka RoadRunners (1st) – Fri. & Sat. – 7:05 p.m.
RGV Killer Bees (6th) @ Wichita Falls Wildcats (3rd) – Fri. (7:05 p.m.) & Sat. (5:00 p.m.)
Amarillo Bulls (7th) @ Lone Star Brahmas (2nd) – Mon. – 2:00 p.m.


The IceRays have struggled on the power play in their recent stretch, going 0-for-10 last weekend. The IceRays have been shut out in four-straight games and have gone 1-for-25 (4.00%) over their last seven games. Since Nic LaBurn's power play goal on Dec. 27, the IceRays have gone scoreless in their last 18 chances. The penalty kill has also had a few setbacks, though the IceRays broke their five-game streak in allowing at least one power play goal. The IceRays are 13-for-20 (65.00%) since their last perfect performance on Dec. 11.

The IceRays have now played in at least overtime in four of their last six games, earning a 4-1-1 record in that span and going 3-0-1 in games that go beyond regulation time. In addition, Saturday's win marks the fifth win during an overtime period, going 5-1 this season while the team has yet to record a shootout win: 0-4 this season and 0-14 under Head Coach John Becanic.

In addition to tying their season-high in shots on Saturday, the IceRays also earned new season-lows in penalty minutes (two) and combined penalty minutes (six). The previous mark in IceRays penalty minutes (four) was set on Jan. 1 in Rio Grande Valley (3-1 L), and the old mark in combined minutes (ten) was set on Sep. 17 against Kenai River (5-2 W) and on Dec. 11 vs. Amarillo (8-4 W).


Former IceRays goaltender Pheonix Copley ('10-'11) was recalled by the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL), making him the first junior alum to reach the NHL in franchise history. Copley, 22, joins Ryan Garbutt of the Dallas Stars as the only two players in franchise history to earn a seat at the game's highest level. The netminder has played 11 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, recording a 6-3-1 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage with two shutouts.

– Go IceRays –