CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS @ TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS
Saturday, October 8 • 7:05 P.M. • Kansas Expocenter • Topeka, KS
NAHL Game #56 • Game #10 • Road Game #8 • Series: COR leads 2-0-0-0
Radio: KSIX 1230AM • Video: HockeyTV • Twitter: @goicerays
Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff
Tonight’s Game: The IceRays close out their three-game, three-day series against the Topeka RoadRunners from Landon Arena in the Kansas Expocentre.
Head-To-Head: The IceRays continue to control the series against the RoadRunners early on in the season, winning both games with a chance to earn the season series outright with a win. The IceRays have now won four-straight on the road in Topeka and seven of their last ten meetings. Over the franchises’ histories, the RoadRunners have owned the matchup, leaving the IceRays with a 9-19-4 record and a 6-10-1 clip in road meetings.
Last Night: The IceRays scored three goals in the third period to push ahead 4-1 over the RoadRunners on Friday night. IceRays forward Nathan Bryer (0:33 1st) opened the scoring with an odd-angled shot to take a 1-0 lead. Scoring stay quiet until the third period when IceRays forward Andy McGlynn (2:08 3rd) stuffed in a rebound to double the lead, 2-0, followed by a tally by forward Josh Tripp (PP, 4:38) on the back door to triple the lead, 3-0. The RoadRunners answered on their own power play from defenseman Jake Rosenbaum (PP, 10:40 3rd) to cut the lead to 3-1. McGlynn (11:38 3rd) added another off a faceoff draw to regain the three-goal lead, 4-1, which is where the scoreline finished. Tomáš Vomáčka (4-3-1) stopped 28 of 29 shots in the win, while Mike Rockwell (2-3-0) halted 32 of 36 shots in the loss.
All Together Now: The IceRays have been led on the scoresheet largely by one three-man forward unit throughout the last two games against Topeka. Forwards Nathan Bryer, Cole Filler and Andy McGlynn have combined to grab seven of the team’s eight goals as well as 19 of the team’s 24 total points. Bryer has led the way in scoring with seven points (3 goals, 4 assists), McGlynn has kept pace as the highest goal-scorer (four goals, two assists), and Filler is the playmaker at center (six assists). Because of their efforts, the three have vaulted into the team scoring lead with McGlynn (5 goals, 3 assists) and Bryer (4 goals, 4 assists) sharing the lead at eight points and Filler (7 assists) tied for second with seven points.
Stepping Up: The IceRays have slowly started to bring a strong consistency to their play on both sides of the ice in terms of scoring and attempts. Last night’s win was the fourth time this season the team has recorded four goals with wins in only that situation. Moreover, the offense has put up three or more goals in four of their last five games. Over the last six games, the IceRays have also been reaching the net better, recording 30+ shots in all six including 35+ shots in half of those games. On the defensive end, opponents are slowly getting stifled in front of the net, conceding 32 shots or fewer in each of their last four games. Last night was also the first time an opponent was held to under 30 shots.
All-Timers: Two IceRays players hit the top-10 during last night’s game in two different categories. Forward Nathan Bryer’s game-opening goal moves him to 22 goals in three seasons, tying for 10th all-time in junior franchise history in career goals, sharing the mark with former teammate Tanner Lomsnes (‘14-’15). Bryer is also one goal away from tying a career-high in consecutive games with goals set from Oct. 31, 2014 through Nov. 8, 2014. Defenseman Keenan Spillum also hit the record books playing his 101st game for the IceRays, moving to 10th all-time in career games, joining Bryer (6th, 122), Mason Krueger (5th, 123) and Trevor Heuser (3rd, 137) on the all-time list.
Killing Them Strongly: The IceRays penalty kill unit continues to come up strong consistently, especially when conceding higher than average power plays in a game. The team matched their season-high in attempts and kills last night, going 8-for-9 for the second time this season. While the penalty kill has allowed one goal in eight of their first nine games, the team moved into the top-5 among all NAHL teams in penalty kill percentage (84.09%) this season, leaping over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The four teams above the IceRays are Lone Star (95.23%), Fairbanks (94.59%), New Jersey (92.68%) and Minot (86.96%). Three of those four teams own a points percentage above .700 so far.
Tending Troubles: The RoadRunners have struggled with consistency from their goaltending early in the season, which is uncharacteristic for the organization. While the team is only 11 games into the season, the RoadRunners have not had a goaltender with a goals-against average over 3.00 with at least five games played since the franchise’s final season in Santa Fe, N.M. during the 2005-06 season (Phil Greer: 3.56 GAA with Santa Fe). In fact, since the start of online records in 2004-05, Greer was the only goaltender eclipsing that mark. Both netminders this season, Ryan Snowden (3.48 GAA) and Mike Rockwell (3.80 GAA), hosts averages over that mark. Both Rockwell and Snowden have a combined six complete games played through the first 11 attempts and sharing time in the other five contests.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (5-4-2-0, 12 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (5-1-1-0, 11 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (5-4-1-0, 11 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (5-3-0-0, 10 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (4-3-0-2, 10 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (4-7-0-0, 8 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (3-3-0-1, 7 PTS)
Next Game: The IceRays return home to the American Bank Center on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7:05 p.m. to open the home schedule against the Odessa Jackalopes. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or the IceRays Front Office. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, HockeyTV, and 87.7FM in-arena.