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, October 24: IceRays 4, Amarillo Bulls 5 (SO)
Shots: IceRays 40, Bulls 44
PP: IceRays 1-for-7, Bulls 1-for-9
The Corpus Christi IceRays weren't able to hold onto their lead, losing 5-4 (1-0 shootout) to the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. The IceRays are now 0-for-3 in shootouts this season, and both teams combined for 122 penalty minutes.
Forward Wes Michaud scored the earliest goal of the season at 0:17 of the first period to take the lead, 1-0. Forward Tanner Lomsnes doubled the lead, 2-0, at 3:56 of the first period. The Bulls would tie the game in the second period before Michaud earned his second of the night at 11:38 on the power play and defenseman Logan Gestro tallied at 16:40 to double the lead again, 4-2. The Bulls would once again surge back to tie the game and force overtime, but the IceRays couldn't find a winner, dropping the game in a shootout.
Bulls forwards Will Harrison (18:02, 1st), Rusian Rahkmatov (7:50, 2nd & 5:36, 3rd) and Brady Crabtree (PP, 2:24, 3rd) scored the goals for Amarillo, with Crabtree scoring the lone shootout tally. IceRays goaltender Luke Pickar (1-2-2) saved 39 of 43 shots in the loss, and Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (2-2-0) earned the win after coming in off the bench, stopping 36 of 38 shots.
Saturday, October 25: IceRays 3, Amarillo Bulls 6
Shots: IceRays 27, Bulls 31
PP: IceRays 3-for-4, Bulls 0-for-2
The IceRays remained winless on the road, dropping their third-straight road series with a 6-3 loss to the Amarillo Bulls at the Amarillo Civic Center. The IceRays are now 0-4-4 in their eight raod games this season.
Trailing 5-0 heading into the third period, the IceRays capitalized on a five-minute major power play that carried into the period. Forward Nic LaBurn tallied first at 0:35 into the period to get the team on the board, 5-1. Just 24 seconds later, forward Joe Chitwood earned his first of the season to creep cloesr, 5-2. LaBurn added another at 2:55 to cut the lead down to two, 5-3. All three goals came on the power play, with the last being a 5-on-3 chance. The Bulls added an empty net goal late in the third to seal the win, 6-3.
Bulls forward Brady Crabtree (5:44, 1st), defenseman Kyle Hartman (3:21, 2nd), and forwards Elijah Barriga (6:35, 2nd), Paul Vella (17:36, 2nd), Cody Gylling (SH, 18:42, 2nd), and Adem Arifi (EN, 19:58, 3rd) all earned goals in the weekend finale.
IceRays goaltender Andrew Lindgren (5-3-2) lasted 26:35 to obtain the loss, stopping 17 of 20 shots, and Luke Pickar saved eight of ten shots in relief. Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (3-2-0) earned his second-straight win, turning aside 24 of 27 shots.
Thursday, October 30 vs. Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.
Friday, October 31 vs. Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays come back to comfortable confines at the American Bank Center to take on the Wichita Falls Wildcats for their first two games of eight games against their South Division opponents. Over the last four seasons, the IceRays are 14-18-6 against the Wildcats and 10-9-1 in games from the American Bank Center. The IceRays have lost four of their last five games, going 1-2-2 in that span.
PROMOTIONS: Thursday is "Twofer Thursday," where fans can buy one ticket for the game and receive another for free. In addition, fans can purchase one slice of Hunt Brothers pizza and receive another slice of cheese pizza for free. Friday is "Sticks & Treats" presented by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Fans under 12 years old and over 60 years old can enter for free if wearing a Halloween costume, with prizes for the best three costumes including a $100 cash prize. Children will be able to trick-or-treat around the concourse in a safe, positive environment. Friday is also Frosty Friday with $1 beers available.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats were idle last weekend, but in their last matchup on October 10 they defeated the Odessa Jackalopes 8-5. The Wildcats scored two goals in the first period and three in each of the final two periods to claim the victory, and trailed only once. Forward Evan Okeley led all skaters in points with three assists, and six other Wildcats had multi-point games, including a two-goal effort from forward Nikita Vitviak. The Wildcats have outscored their opposition 17-6 over their last two games.
The IceRays (6-5-4) could only gain one point in Amarillo last weekend, so they now sit tied for third place with the Wildcats (8-3-0) at 16 points, just one point behind the surging Lone Star Brahmas for second place in the South Division. Both teams trail the Topeka RoadRunners for first place by 11 points, and they hold a four-point lead over Amarillo and Rio Grande Valley.
Forward Wes Michaud put up two goals and two assists in Friday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Amarillo Bulls. The last time an IceRays player scored four points in a road game was Dec. 7, 2013 when Martin Hojbjerg scored two goals and two assists in a 4-1 win in Odessa. The last time a player scored four points in any game was also last season: Feb. 7, 2014 in a 7-6 overtime loss to Topeka in which Jake Durflinger (3+2=5) & Connor Kelly (0+4=4) both recorded 4+ point games. Michaud now has ten points over his last seven games and leads the team in assists (10) and points (16).
With three assists last weekend, forward Ryan Cusin remains hot over his last five games, tying Wes Michaud's season-high for points in consecutive games at five games. Cusin has seven points (one goal, six assists) over that stretch of time. Also heating up is forward Joe Chitwood, who now has points in four of his last five games thanks to his first goal an an assist last weekend.
The IceRays have yet to win a shootout under Head Coach John Becanic. Over the past two seasons, the IceRays are 0-13 when in a shootout with their opponent. The last shootout won by the IceRays is March 9, 2013 at home in a 5-4 win against the Wichita Falls Wildcats, in which forward Brandon Smith earned the game-winner and goaltender Ben Myers recorded the win.
Forward Brad LeLievre remains out with a lower body injury suffered on October 11 in the team's 5-2 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas. LeLievre has been sidelined for four-straight games and is doubtful for this weekend's games.
Forward Jack Jenson missed last weekend's games with an upper body injury and remains out indefinitely. There is no official timetable set for his return.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
IceRays Captains Joe Chitwood and Trevor Heuser will be speaking with students at West Oso Elementary for Red Ribbon Week Festivities on Tuesday, October 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. about staying away from drugs. Communities in Schools Costal Bend organized the event to reduce the dropout rate by delivering and coordinating the delivery of campus-based social services to potential dropouts. This event is not open to the public.
IceRays players and staff will be tabling at the Port of Corpus Christi Job Fair on Wednesday, October 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Ortiz Center. Players appearing are defenseman Keenan Spillum (8:30-10:00 a.m.) and forward Mason Krueger (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.). IceRays Radio Broadcaster and Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations Collin Schuck will be tabling the event all-day, and General Manager Pat Dunn and Director of Game Operations & Sales Jim Carl will be appearing from 12:00-3:00 p.m. This is open to the public.
– Go IceRays –