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, November 28: IceRays 0, RGV Killer Bees 1
Shots: IceRays 19, Killer Bees 22
PP: IceRays 0-for-4, Killer Bees 0-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays fell behind in the first period and couldn't recover, dropping to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 1-0 on Friday night from State Farm Arena. The game ended their five-straight win streak and continued their road troubles.
The lone goal of the game came at 12:36 of the first period, when Killer Bees defenseman Evan Bell scored his first NAHL goal off a faceoff draw won by forward Anthony Croston.
IceRays goaltender Luke Pickar (3-4-2) was awarded the loss, saving 21 of 22 shots, and Killer Bees netminder Ben Johansson (5-3-3) picked up the win, stopping all 19 shots he faced.
Saturday, November 29: IceRays 3, RGV Killer Bees 5
Shots: IceRays 21, Killer Bees 23
PP: IceRays 1-for-2, Killer Bees 2-for-2
The Corpus Christi IceRays were not able to hold off the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in their 5-3 loss on Saturday night from State Farm Arena. The IceRays remain winless on the road, going 0-6-4 in their first ten games.
Forward Wes Michaud (PP, 2:23, 2nd) scored the game's first goal to take a 1-0 lead for the IceRays on a one-time shot from the blue line. After two goals allowed on a five-minute major penalty, forward Ryan Cusin (16:31, 2nd) tied the game, 2-2, heading into the second intermission. Defenseman Trevor Heuser (19:48, 3rd) scored one final goal but not before three more Killer Bees found the back of the net to take the 5-3 win.
Forwards Guy Roby (PP, 6:43, 2nd) and Anthony Croston (PP, 7:17, 2nd) scored for the Killer Bees on the power play. Forwards Dallas Gerads (5:12, 3rd), Stathis Soumelidis (5:39, 3rd), and Parker Wood (EN, 17:40, 3rd) also tallied to spread the lead.
IceRays goaltender Andrew Lindgren (9-4-2) took his first loss in four games, turning aside 18 of 22 shots, while Killer Bees Ben Johansson (6-3-3) took his second-straight win, saving 18 of 21 shots against.
Wednesday, December 3 vs. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – 7:05 p.m.
Friday, December 5 @ Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, December 6 @ Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays play three games in four days as they come back to the American Bank Center to host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees before traveling for their only December road trip to take on the Wichita Falls Wildcats. After dropping both games last weekend, the IceRays are 1-2-0 against the Killer Bees heading into Game 4 of the South Texas Vo Tech Cup. This weekend will be the second weekend meeting between the IceRays and Wildcats, who split their only appearance to even the season series 1-1-0.
PROMOTIONS: Wednesday's home game is a Five-For-Five deal at the American Bank Center. To aide in the IceRays' Holiday Hope Drive, fans can bring five donatable items such as blankets, clothing, travel hygiene products, etc. and purchase a $5 ticket when they come to the American Bank Center Box Office the night of the game. All donations from the drive benefit Corpus Christi Metro Ministries. For a full donation list or more information on Corpus Christi Metro Ministries, visit www.GoIceRays.com and click on the Holiday Hope Drive link.
The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees turned around a six-game losing streak with their sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays last weekend. Forward Anthony Croston is one of only two players to record points in both games, recording one goal and two assists on the weekend, and the other is defenseman Evan Bell with one goal and one assist. Forward Parker Wood also scored one goal and two assists in Saturday's 5-3 win.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end with a 4-2 loss to the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday night from Ector County Coliseum but recovered with a 5-4 win on Saturday. Four Wildcats skaters earned multi-point weekends, led by forward Alex Falconer who recorded two goals and one assist. Forward Austin Beaulieu also found twine with one goal and one assist. Forward Austin Albrecht and defenseman Jake Townsend both had two-assist weekends.
The IceRays (12-8-4) remain in fourth in the South Division after dropping both games last weekend with 28 points. With the Topeka RoadRunners sweeping the Lone Star Brahmas, the Wildcats (16-5-0) slid into second place with 32 points, one point ahead of the Brahmas and four above the IceRays. The Killer Bees (9-10-4) are quickly climbing back toward the top-five in the South Division with a four-point weekend. They move within three of the Wenatchee Wild for fifth place with 22 points and now six behind the IceRays.
After returning from a six-game suspension on Saturday night, IceRays forward Joe Chitwood took a five-minute major penalty for charging in the second period as well as a game misconduct. Chitwood will likely be suspended for at least one game, with an official decision from the North American Hockey League coming later in the week.
Forward Ryan Cusin is the only remaining IceRays skater with a continuous point streak, which now stands at six games. In that span, he has a team-high five goals with three assists for eight points and ties his own team-high point streak this season. Cusin recorded two goals and six assists for eight points from Oct. 11 through Oct. 30.
The IceRays remain winless on the road, going 0-6-4 after last weekend's sweep. They are the only team in the NAHL yet to record a road win. The closest team in terms of worst road record is the Amarillo Bulls, who owns a 1-9-0 record on the road. Their lone win was Sep. 20 against the Springfield Jr. Blues at the NAHL Showcase in a 3-2 decision.
After Friday's shutout loss to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, the IceRays have now been shut out in only two contests this season, both by a 1-0 score on the road. Their only other shut out loss came Sep. 18 against the Minnesota Wilderness at the NAHL Showcase. Luke Pickar started in net for both games, saving a combined 34 shots on 36 attempts (.944 SV%).
After performing as a top-five goaltender in the NAPHL last season, Luke Pickar has transitioned well to the NAHL with great numbers through the month of November. While seeing only three games during the month, the 18-year-old held opponents to one goal twice and never saw more than three go by, owning a 2-1-0 record. In the month, Pickar has seen his goals against average drop from 2.85 to 2.32 and improved his save percentage from .895 to .914.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
The IceRays are helping the city of Alice enter into their holiday season by walking in the 34th Annual Alice Christmas Parade on Tuesday, December 2nd form 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Three players and Stinger Ray will be driving the IceRays van through the parade and greeting parade patrons.
On Friday, December 5, Stinger Ray and two members of the IceRays staff will be attending the 23rd Annual Safe and Sober Month Kickoff held by the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse at the First United Methodist Church on North Shoreline Blvd. The event in the Fellowship Hall is held to remind the community of the dangers resulting from drinking and driving.
The IceRays will be attending one more parade this Saturday, December 6 in the city of Gregory for their 8th Annual Holiday Parade from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Stinger Ray and the IceRays Hummer will be strolling along the parade route during the evening's festivities.
– Go IceRays –