CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS VS. AMARILLO BULLS
Friday, November 25 • 7:05 P.M. • American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
NAHL Game #213 • Game #22 • Home Game #10 • Series: COR leads 2-0-0-0
Radio: SportsJuice.com • Video: Hockey TV • Twitter: @goicerays • In-Arena: 87.7FM
Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff
Tonight’s Game: The IceRays host the Amarillo Bulls for the first time this season and begin their eight-game season series at the American Bank Center on Thanksgiving Weekend.
Head-To-Head: The IceRays opened this year’s series with the first junior franchise road sweep in Amarillo on November 4-5 and recorded the second shutout of the season in the process. Those wins bring the franchise series to a 23-40-3 record for the IceRays. In the last seven seasons, the home and road record have been about even with the IceRays going 11-18-1 at the American Bank Center.
Last Game: The IceRays scored four-unanswered goals to take down the Lone Star Brahmas 4-1 on Saturday night at the American Bank Center. Brahmas forward Troy York (11:34 1st) opened the scoring while in transition to take a 1-0 lead before the IceRays took over with two odd area goals from forward David Baskerville (15:25 1st) and defenseman Cody Fleckenstein (16:10 1st) to take a 2-1 lead from the left corner and left point, respectively. IceRays forward Mason Krueger (11:35 3rd) added to the lead, 3-1, with a back door stuffer, and forward Josh Tripp (PP, 14:22 3rd) scored the lone power play goal for the team on the weekend to finish off the Brahmas, 4-1. IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka (5-8-1) stopped 23 of 24 shots in the win. Brahmas netminder Alec Calvaruso (8-2-0) halted three of five shots in 16:10 minutes while earning the loss, and Erik Gordon turned away 15 of 17 shots in 41:16 minutes of relief.
Righting The Ship: IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka earned a strong win on Saturday night and broke down a rough patch in his season. The win was his first since October 7 in Topeka, tearing down a five-game loss streak. In that span, the 17-year-old netminder had an .893 save percentage and conceded three or more goals in three of five games. Saturday’s win was the first at the American Bank Center this season for Vomáčka and the second time this season he held an opponent to one goal with the last coming in his last win on October 7.
Cracking The Code: The IceRays’ four-goal output on Saturday was the most efficient effort of the season against an opponent, especially coming in a win. It took just 22 shots for the IceRays to convert four times, meaning the team averaged a goal every five to six shots (18.18%). Their previous high in efficiency came on October 28 against Shreveport, scoring four goals on 26 shots (15.38%) despite their 5-4 loss. The IceRays have converted on over ten percent of their shots just six times this season including twice in September including opening night on September 16 in Wichita Falls (12.50%), three times in October and once in November. On the season, the IceRays are converting at a 8.31% rate.
Two To Tango: While production across the team has slowed during November, IceRays captain Mason Krueger is keeping up with his production from the early portion of the season. He leads the team through six games this month with five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and sitting just under a point-per-game clip thanks to his goal last Saturday night. Along with winger Brad Power (1+3=4), the two continue to be a strong pairing on the second line and lead the team in points with Krueger (19) just two points ahead of Power (17).
Bulled Around: The Amarillo Bulls could not turn around their recent struggles with a 3-2 loss on Friday night and 7-3 loss on Saturday night against the Shreveport Mudbugs from the Amarillo Civic Center. Bulls forwards Charlie Singerhouse and George Mika were the two lone players with multi-point weekends or a multi-point game with Singerhouse grabbing three points (2+1=3) and Mika owning two points (1+1=2). Five other players earned points with forward Eric Cooley and defenseman Brendon Michaelian recorded the other goals. Netminder Nikita Babintsev saved 54 of 63 shots while earning starts in both games, and goaltender Kyle Madore halted 15 of 16 shots during the third period of Saturday’s game.
Turfed Surf: The Bulls are on an unprecedented run in the first half of the season on home ice and during their recent run. They come into the weekend winless in their last 11 games and 13 of their last 14 games since the beginning of October. During that loss streak, opponents have averaged 3.91 goals per game while only grabbing 2.27 goals per game, the Bulls scored four goals or more just twice (Oct. 28-29), and they played nine of those 11 games at the Amarillo Civic Center. Speaking of their home rink, the Bulls have yet to win on their home ice this season, going winless in all 11 games played while allowing four or more goals in over half of those games. The loss streak at home is the longest in junior franchise history, and the overall streak is tied for their junior franchise record set last season from March 2 to April 1.
South Division Standings:
Lone Star Brahmas (18-5-1-0, 37 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (12-6-2-0, 26 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (12-6-0-1, 25 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (9-9-1-2, 21 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (8-11-2-1, 19 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (6-10-6-0, 18 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (8-10-1-0, 17 PTS)
Next Game: The IceRays finish November from the American Bank Center on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7:05 p.m. against the Amarillo Bulls. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, Hockey TV, and 87.7FM in-arena.