CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS @ WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS
Friday, September 16 at 7:05 P.M. • Kay Yeager Coliseum • Wichita Falls, TX
Game #2 • Series: COR leads 1-0-0 • Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays
Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff
Tonight’s Game: The IceRays continue their three-game set against the Wichita Falls Wildcats with the midway game at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
Head-To-Head: The IceRays earned their first win in Wichita Falls since Jan. 23, 2015 (5-4 W) as well as their first road overtime win against the Wildcats in junior franchise history. Previously, the IceRays had gone 0-5 in six previous seasons (four overtime losses, two shootout losses). With the win, the IceRays are 21-32-6 all-time against the Wildcats and 6-18-5 at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
Last Night: The IceRays earned their first win of the season with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Wildcats. IceRays forward Mason Krueger (1:44 1st) re-directed a shot from the blue line to take an early 1-0 lead before Wildcats forward Ryan Burnett (11:04 1st) tucked in a second-chance play to tie the game, 1-1. On the team’s first power play, IceRays defenseman Cody Fleckenstein (PP, 12:09 1st) bounced a puck off the boards and a defenseman to take a 2-1 lead. Forward David Thomson (PP, 9:34 2nd) one-timed a shot from the left circle to double the lead, 3-1, before the Wildcats pushed back. Forwards Jonathan Bendorf (PP, 3:04 3rd) and Ricky Carbella (13:32 3rd) each capitalized to tie the game, 3-3, and force overtime. Thomson (PP, 3:40 OT) cashed in on another man-advantage to seal the 4-3 win. Tomáš Vomáčka (1-0-0) saved 29 of 32 shots in the win, while Evan Moyse (0-0-2) stopped 28 of 32 shots in the loss.
Starting Strong: The IceRays opened the season with a win for the second-straight season and in their first attempt against the Wildcats. They’ve edged out the opposition 16-15 in scoring as well as scored three or more goals in five of the last seven seasons. The IceRays now own a 4-2-0-1 record on opening night, however the team is 1-4-0-1 on the second game of the season while losing five-straight seasons. That win came on Sep. 16, 2010 in a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Hitmen at the NAHL Showcase.
Power Players: In last night’s win, the IceRays went 3-for-6 on the power play, which is the most goals scored on the man-advantage since their only 3+ goal game in the 2015-16 season: Dec. 19, 2015 in a 6-2 road win over Amarillo (4-for-6). The IceRays only scored two or more power play goals five times last year, wheras in 2014-15 the IceRays scored three or more goals on the man-advantage four times. Forward David Thomson scored two of the three power play goals last night, equaling his three-game total from preseason play.
Extending Records: With his first period goal last night, IceRays forward Mason Krueger improves his goal-scoring streak to six games dating back to Mar. 26, 2016. The third-year veteran finished the 2015-16 season with one goal in each of his final five games including four-straight games with goals against the Wildcats. Krueger broke the original record (four games) on Apr. 7, 2016 in Wichita Falls, taking down the four-way tie between Michael Dery (2010-11), Kyle Froese (2012-13), Eric Purcell (2013-14) and Nathan Bryer (2014-15).
Uncommon Drop: For just the third time in 13 NAHL seasons, the Wildcats have lost their first two games of the season. The last time came in 2011-12, during which the Wildcats lost three-straight to start the season (4-2 L vs. STL, 2-1 L vs. KNR, 5-4 L vs. MNT) before winning the fourth game of the NAHL Showcase. The Wildcats also lost their first two home games at the Kay Yeager Coliseum for the second time in junior franchise history with the other occurrence coming in 2008-09 when the Wildcats lost five-straight games before their first home win (6-2 L vs. SPR, 4-3 L vs. SPR, 1-0 L vs. TOP, 5-1 L vs. TOP, 4-3 OTL vs. STL). The Wildcats have never lost three-straight games to the IceRays in franchise history.
Road Warriors: For the first time since online records began in 2004-05, the road team has won all six meetings across the NAHL, including four games involving South Division teams. In fact, this season is just the first time since 2004-05 that the opening game was won by the road team (2010-11: STL 4 – SPR 2; 2004-05: CLE 3 – SOO 1). In both of those instances, the home team won the second league game. This season, the Johnstown Tomahawks won both games last weekend in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against the Knights, the Wichita Falls Wildcats has dropped two-straight home games against the Amarillo Bulls and Corpus Christi IceRays, respectively, Amarillo lost their home opener to the Odessa Jackalopes, and the Topeka RoadRunners dropped their first game to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
South Division Standings:
Odessa Jackalopes (1-0-0-0, 2 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (1-0-0-0, 2 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (0-0-1-0, 1 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (1-1-0-0, 2 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (0-1-0-0, 0 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (0-0-0-0, 0 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (0-0-0-0, 0 PTS)
Next Game: The IceRays close their season-opening three-game set against the Wildcats on Saturday, Sep. 17 at 7:05 p.m. from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on FASTHockey.com.