Friday night’s 3-2 shootout defeat was the IceRays’ third consecutive neck-and-neck tilt against Shreveport. The Rays dominated the start of the game, jumping to a very early 1-0 lead and a 15-6 advantage in first period shots on goal.
However, Kieran Durgan turned the momentum when he scored a shorthanded goal just 44 seconds into the middle stanza. The Bugs managed to force overtime, and bested the Rays in the shootout. Given how spectacular the St. Onge-Peltonen-Jungwirth combo had been all weekend, all three of them were selected to partake in the shootout. While they’ve established enough chemistry at this point to connect with each other while blindfolded in the dark, they’ve not been able to replicate that success in shootouts this season. It simply has not been the IceRays’ forte, as they are now 1-4 in shootouts on the campaign and have only had one player (Peltonen) light the lamp.
Tonight will be the IceRays’ last mid-week road game of the season, and it comes just three weeks after their previous one which was also in Shreveport. On Wednesday, December 13th, the Rays and the Bugs went half the game before either time managed to crack the opposing goaltender, but it was Shreveport who broke the ice and held on for a 2-0 win.
Both sides were fairly sloppy throughout that contest, but the IceRays have played some of their best hockey since then. Since that game, the Rays have not lost in regulation and have taken three points out of four from the top two teams in the South Division. A feeling of unfinished business certainly looms around the squad, knowing how close they came just days ago from becoming the first team all season to sweep Shreveport.
Concannon to Debut
Nineteen-year-old forward Dakota Concannon is expected to make his first appearance as an IceRay tonight. A native of Warwyck, NY, Concannon had a goal and an assist in 14 games played with the New Jersey Rockets of the NCDC this season. He scored at nearly a point-per-game pace during his midgets career and was regarded as an effective goal-scorer throughout. Concannon (6’0”, 185) will wear the #19 for the IceRays.
The IceRays have gone to overtime 11 times this season, which is more than any other team in the NAHL. Eight of those appearances have been in the last fourteen games. There simply are no easy wins in the South Division, especially now with points becoming increasingly valuable. Tonight, they will also tie Shreveport for the league-lead in road games played (22) which is another strong testament to the team’s resolve considering their respectable record.