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 2016-17 season.
Thursday, March 23: Lone Star Brahmas 4, IceRays 3 (SO)
Shots: Brahmas 33, IceRays 22
PP: Brahmas 1-for-5, IceRays 0-for-2
The Corpus Christi IceRays (28-17-4-5) earned a point but fell in the sixth round of a shootout during their 4-3 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas (43-13-2-0) on Thursday night at the American Bank Center.
IceRays forward Cole Filler (11:41 1st) slipped through a defensive change to open the scoring before Brahmas forward David Marabella (17:39 1st) tied the game at 1-1 with a rifled shot from the right circle. The two sides traded goals again in the second period starting with IceRays forward Nathan Bryer (6:43 2nd) early in the frame followed by Brahmas forward Hunter Stanley (PP, 19:21 2nd) on the lone man-advantage conversion. Another trading of goals in the third period started with Brahmas forward Andy Willis (2:59 3rd) and finished by IceRays forward Cole Gammer (6:33 3rd) to send a 3-3 tie into overtime. After a scoreless frame and five empty rounds of a shootout, Stanley (6th) scored the lone goal to earn the 4-3 shootout win.
Brahmas goaltender Alec Calvaruso (24-6-0) halted 19 of 22 shots in the win, while IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (17-11-6) turned away 29 of 32 shots in the shootout loss.
Friday, March 24: Lone Star Brahmas 2, IceRays 4
Shots: Brahmas 28, IceRays 15
PP: Brahmas 1-for-8, IceRays 2-for-2
The Corpus Christi IceRays (29-17-4-5) fought their way through adversity to force a 4-2 win over the Lone Star Brahmas (43-14-2-0) on Friday night at the American Bank Center.
IceRays forward Nathan Bryer (9:06 1st) started the scoring with his second goal of the weekend to take a 1-0 lead followed by IceRays forward Brad Power (PP, 10:12 1st) to double the lead, 2-0. After missing a coach, IceRays center Mason Krueger (PP, 10:38 2nd) tripled the lead to 3-0 with a one-time shot on a rebound. The Brahmas came back in the third period with goals from forward Pete Kessel (PP, 6:11 3rd) on a 5-on-3 power play as well as defenseman Jakub Melisko (7:53 3rd) to come within one, 3-2. IceRays forward Cole Gammer (14:56 3rd) led a 2-on-1 to stretch the lead back to two, 4-2, and finish out the night.
IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (18-11-6) turned away 26 of 28 shots in the win, while Brahmas goaltender Alec Calvaruso (24-7-0) knocked down 11 of 15 shots.
Friday, March 31 @ Shreveport Mudbugs – 7:11 p.m.
Saturday, April 1 @ Shreveport Mudbugs – 7:11 p.m.
Sunday, April 2 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 4:00 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays head on their final road trip of the season this weekend when they take a pro-style weekend against the Shreveport Mudbugs and Lone Star Brahmas. The IceRays have taken hold of their first junior season series with the Mudbugs, picking up points in nine of 10 games with a 8-1-0-1 record and two games to go. The IceRays now have points in eight-straight games and wins in six-straight meetings. All-time, the IceRays own a 29-26-6 since the start of the professional franchise series in the WPHL.
The IceRays have earned points in five-straight games since December 10 despite dropping the season series with just one game remaining, owning a 4-4-1-1 record through 10 meetings with a 1-3-0-0 record at the NYTEX Sports Centre. The IceRays have a 16-16-6 record against the Brahmas along with a 4-11-3 road record.
The Shreveport Mudbugs earned an important road sweep of the Wichita Falls Wildcats, taking a 4-0 shutout win on Friday and a 5-4 victory on Saturday. Mudbugs forward Gueorgui Feduolov earned NAHL South Division 2nd Star of the Week for his four-point weekend (3+1=4) including two goals on Saturday, and defenseman Croix Evingson (1+3=4) joined him with his own four-point week. Three more players added multi-point weekends: defenseman Brandon Gysbers (1+2=3) and forwards Kieran Durgan (1+2=3) and Erik Zohovs (1+2=3). Goaltender Dylan Lubbesmeyer stopped all 40 shots this weekend including a 30-save shutout on Friday, while John Roberts halted 13 of 17 shots in two periods on Saturday.
South Division Outlook:
The four South Division representatives in the 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs have been selected after last week’s events. The Corpus Christi IceRays clinched a playoff spot on Thursday night while taking three of four points against the Lone Star Brahmas. The Odessa Jackalopes earned five of six points against the Amarillo Bulls in a three-game week, but the point lost allowed the Wichita Falls Wildcats to clinch the final playoff spot despite being swept at home by the Shreveport Mudbugs. The Topeka RoadRunners dropped both road games against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs to close their final Alaska trip.
|y-LONE STAR BRAHMAS||59||43||14||2||0||88||.746||6-3-1-0|
|x-CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS||55||29||17||4||5||67||.609||4-2-2-2|
|x-WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS||55||29||20||4||2||64||.582||4-5-1-0|
Now that the IceRays have clinched a playoff spot, the IceRays are looking for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The IceRays have four points to make up over their last five games with four possible points directly against the Shreveport Mudbugs. While the Mudbugs own the first tie-breaker (most wins), the IceRays own their head-to-head record as the second tie-break. On the other side, the IceRays are just three points above the Wichita Falls Wildcats, and the Wildcats own the first three tie-breakers.
Despite the odds being stacked against them last weekend, the IceRays performed well on special teams through both games. The power play unit finished the weekend going 2-for-4 (50.00%) including a perfect 2-for-2 on Friday night during their win. The penalty kill also stayed strong with a 11-for-13 (84.62%) conversion and killing off one of two 5-on-3 kill situations. In addition, the IceRays also scored 4-on-4 during Friday’s game, marking the second time the IceRays scored in that situation, which are the only two goals scored in 55 games by either team in an IceRays game during 4-on-4 play.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
The IceRays hosted their annual charity golf tournament on Monday afternoon at the Northshore County Club in Portland. 23 teams competed in an afternoon of fun in the sun with proceeds benefitting St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
The IceRays will be helping the Corpus Christi Marina Arts District with beautification projects this afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. by the Art Museum of South Texas. This event is open to the public.