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Preview: IceRays vs Shreveport Mudbugs (Game 39)

ABC Stunned in Last Home Tilt

There’s no question plenty of fans returning to the American Bank Center tonight will still have a bitter taste in their mouths after the shocking end to last Saturday night’s contest. In front of the second-biggest crowd of the season, a hard-fought, well-played game met an untimely end just six seconds into the 3-on-3 overtime period, when Jared Domin sniped a mid-range shot into the top corner of the net to snag the extra point from the IceRays.

The near 5,000 in attendance left the arena feeling almost cheated, and tonight’s long-anticipated matchup could provide the IceRays and their fans with a chance for comeuppance. The Shreveport Mudbugs are back in town for the last time this season and, while they may lead the NAHL in the standings, they have seldom been able to take down the Rays in convincing fashion this season.

The Matchup

Shreveport has strung together a four-game winning streak, two of which came against Corpus Christi. They are coming off a home sweep over the Topeka RoadRunners, and have taken at least a point in seven straight. However, the IceRays have given them problems more than any other team in the NAHL.

The Rays are the only team in the league to have defeated the Mudbugs three times this season. On the campaign, they’ve managed a 3-3-2 record against them, which is respectable to say the least considering the Mudbugs’ league-wide dominance (26-5-5). Each of their last three meetings against one another have gone to extra time, where the IceRays took one game in overtime but dropped the next two in the shootout. It would make sense to expect more of the same tonight, as the Rays still lead the league in overtime appearances this season with 14, having gone there 11 times in their last 18 tilts.

Veltri Sidelined, Myers Recalled

Chad Veltri had begun experiencing concussion-like symptoms last Saturday against Amarillo, but didn’t realize it until after the game was over. With this said, he certainly wasn’t playing at the level that’s come to be expected of him, and a goal or two slipped past him that he would normally prevent with ease. He won’t suit up again until he returns to normal, so Tyler Myers has been recalled from the Texas Brahmas of the NA3HL. In the meantime, Jake Acton is the expected starter for both games this weekend against Shreveport.

Teacher Appreciation Night

Tonight, the IceRays are honoring the teachers throughout the greater Corpus Christi area by granting free admission to them and their families. Vouchers were delivered by IceRays staff to schools over the last two weeks, and teachers seeking the promotion are asked to redeem their vouchers at the southern box office on Resaca Street before the game. Teachers who were not given vouchers can still receive the promotion by visiting the box office on the ocean side of the American Bank Center and showing their credentials.