Corpus Christi ended their five game losing streak but saw their winless streak reach six games after gaining just one point of a possible four from the Texas Tornado last week at the American Bank Center. All was not lost though as the team made big news off the ice with a major donation to the American Cancer Society as part of Pink In the Rink Night presented by CC Disposal and Radiology and Imaging. The ‘Rays are off this week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great ways to follow the guys in the bye week. Check out where the team will be.
GAME #1: Corpus Christi 3-6 Texas: The Corpus Christi IceRays had a 2-1 lead in the second period, but the Texas Tornado stormed back to double up the ‘Rays, 6-3, at the American Bank Center on Thursday night. Colton Saucerman had a two-point night for the IceRays while Michael Benedict tallied his team-leading 21st goal of the year.
GAME #2: Corpus Christi 3-4 Texas (OT): Jason Souva scored twice including a third period goal to force overtime, but the Corpus Christi IceRays fell to the Texas Tornado, 4-3 in the extra frame on Pink in the Rink Night on Friday at the American Bank Center. Beau Walker recorded his 50th point in the overtime loss.
RISE AND SHINE WALK 2011: The team has a rare weekend off, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to be done! Members of the IceRays and staff will be involved in the Rise School of Corpus Christi’s “Rise and Shine Walk 2011” to be held on Saturday February 19, 2011 at Whataburger Field, home of the Corpus Christi Hooks. The team will be selling raffle tickets for the custom 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle for $10 each. All proceeds benefit the Rise School of Corpus Christi with the bike raffled off on PACK THE HOUSE night on March 25th. For more information on the event, visit http://eventful.com/corpuschristi/events/rise-and-shine-walk-2011-/E0-001-035781061-4.
PINK IN THE RINK DRAWS NATIONAL ATTENTION: The IceRays’ third annual Pink in the Rink Night drew national attention for the team’s tremendous donation to the American Cancer Society. Through a silent auction, donations, and a post-game jersey auction, the team raised $24,250 for the ACS. Over the past three seasons, the team has averaged a donation of $36,000 for breast cancer research and awareness. Brandon Marshall’s jersey went for the most after the game as his pink sweater fetched a $1,900 donation. Check out the story from the North American Hockey League website, online at http://www.nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=2352
AROUND THE SOUTH DIVISION: Corpus Christi currently sits fifth in the South Division with a record of 17-27-3 (36 points).
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Corpus Christi is still alive in the playoff hunt, but will need to play their best hockey of the season down the stretch to overtake the Wichita Falls Wildcats for the final playoff spot in the South. Currently, the IceRays trail their first-half rivals by nine (9) points with 11 games remaining for Corpus Christi. Wichita Falls has 14 games left on their schedule, including two at home against Texas on Friday and Saturday. The IceRays were 5-6-1 against Wichita Falls this season, playing all the contests during the first half of the season.
CORPUS CHRISTI’S RECORDS AGAINST THE SOUTH:
AMARILLO: 1-5-0 (6 games remaining, 2 at home, 4 on road)
NEW MEXICO: 7-2-1 (2 games remaining, 2 at home)
TEXAS: 1-7-1 (3 games remaining, 2 at home, 1 on road)
TOPEKA: 0-6-0 (series complete)
WICHITA FALLS: 5-6-1 (series complete)
GOALS: Michael Benedict, 21
ASSISTS: Beau Walker, 33
POINTS: Beau Walker, 50
PLUS/MINUS: Josh Obregon (+2)
PENALTY MINUTES: Brandon Marshall, 189
SHOTS: Michael Benedict, 147
WINS: Pheonix Copley, 12
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE: Pheonix Copley, 4.12
SAVE PERCENTAGE: Pheonix Copley, .881
SOUVA’S SIZZLING…Jason Souva has found his offensive game over the past week, tallying four goals in his last five games with all of his output coming in two separate two-goal games. Souva had three goals coming into the week. He would have had five goals in five games, but one of his would-be goals was waived off due to an inadvertent whistle.
20 SUITS BENNY WELL… Michael Benedict scored in third period on February 4th in Topeka to become the first player in the NAHL IceRays’ history to reach the 20-goal plateau.
HALFWAY TO 100…Beau Walker became the first player this season to reach 50 points on February 11th with a first period assist.
ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOR… The IceRays collected just 10 penalty minutes in the game on February 10th v. Texas, their fewest of the season. Texas had four penalty minutes. Combined with Corpus Christi’s 10, the 14 penalty minutes were the fewest combined PIMS in an IceRays game this season.
ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOR PT. 2…Corpus Christi continued their clean play the following night on February 11th matching their season-low with 10 penalty minutes.
RAYS ROBBED…Corpus Christi appeared to have tied Friday, February 6th’s game against Topeka with 16 seconds remaining in the third period, but Jason Souva’s apparent goal was waived off after referee Steven Thomson deemed the puck was covered.
SAUCE’S SEASON-HIGH…Colton Saucerman tallied four points against New Mexico on January 14th. It was a team-high for a single-game this season. On the night, “Sauce” tallied two goals and two assists.
STLOUKAL STRIKES AT THE BUZZER…Petr Stloukal tallied as the 3rd period buzzer sounded in the team’s 6-3 loss at Amarillo on Sunday January 29th. It was the latest goal scored by an IceRays player this season. The Czech Republic native has five goals and six assists for 11 points in 15 games played for Corpus Christi since being acquired from the Chicago Steel (USHL).
POWER OUTAGE…Corpus Christi was shutout for the seventh time this season in a 6-0 loss to Topeka on Saturday, February 5th.
FINE JEWELRY OUTLET PLAYER OF THE MONTH…Beau Walker received the Fine Jewelry Outlet Player of the Month award for the month of January. During the month, he collected five goals and five assists for 10 points. Walker has started February on a fast note as well with seven points in five games.
ONE OF TWO OVER 3,000…The IceRays are one of two teams (Wenatchee) who have averaged over 3,000 fans per game in attendance. Over 70,000 fans have watched the team at the American Bank Center in their inaugural season in the NAHL.
HOME ICE FOR SECOND HALF: Corpus Christi will need a strong second half of the season to propel themselves into the playoffs. They will be helped by the schedule as 15 of the team’s final 26 games are at the American Bank Center. Currently, the team is 3-5-1 at home in 2011.
NEW FACES: A total of 45 players have played in a game for Corpus Christi this season.
NAHL GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH: Goalie Pheonix Copley was named the NAHL Goaltender of the Month for the month of November. In the month, Copley went 4-3-0 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. He became the first Corpus Christi player to win a monthly award.
SECOND PROSPECT TOURNAMENT…The Corpus Christi IceRays will send two players to the send Top Prospects Tournament to be held in Ann Arbor, MI on Feb. 20-22, 2011. Michael Benedict and Beau Walker will once again represent the team.
THREE TOP PROSPECTS: Corpus Christi was well represented at the 2010 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Boston held on Dec. 5-7. Michael Benedict assisted in Team Rafalski’s first game while Kyle Hughes was a plus-2 (+2). In the second game, Beau Walker scored a second period goal to help the team to victory. Overall, the team was 2-1-0.
COLLEGE-BOUND… Two members of the Corpus Christi defensive corps are both committed to Division-I schools. Colton Saucerman will suit up for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East) in the fall of 2011 while Mychal Monteith will play for Mercyhurst College (Atlantic Hockey) in 2012.
JANUARY JOLT…After dropping their first three games of January, the IceRays responded and won four of their next seven in the month to 4-6-0. It was the first month this season that the IceRays did not have a single game reach overtime or a shootout.
DREARY DECEMBER…The IceRays went 2-5-0 in the month of December after a strong month of November. The record includes two losses in the final minutes to Wichita Falls and Texas on the road.
I’LL BE GONE TILL NOVEMBER: Corpus Christi was on the road for the majority of November on a seven-game road trip. It was the longest road trip of the season. The Rays went 4-3-0 on the road trip and was 5-4-0 for the entire month.
A STRONG SHOWING AT THE SHOWCASE: Corpus Christi announced their arrival into the NAHL with a 3-1-0 record at the NAHL Showcase held in Blaine, MN on Sept. 15-18, 2010.
LARGEST SINGLE-GAME CROWD IN THE NAHL: On Saturday October 23, 2010, Corpus Christi set the benchmark for attendance in the NAHL with a crowd of 5,912 watching the team battle the Texas Tornado. It was Military Appreciation Night at the American Bank Center which honored various law enforcement and military personnel and their families at the game.
WHAT’S ON TAP?Corpus Christi is off this weekend before heading to Amarillo on February 25th and 26th. Fans can listen to all the action with the voice of the IceRays, Ryan Holt, beginning 15 minutes prior to the games on the Rays flagship station, News/Talk 1440 AM KEYS. The game is available for free online at www.1440KEYS.com or on the league’s pay-per-view website, www.fasthockey.com. Be sure to get your tickets now by calling the IceRays front office at 361.814.PUCK (7825) or crash the net at www.goicerays.com.
“THE NEW ICERAYS…TOMORROW’S STARS”