The Corpus Christi IceRays hit the road for three games in three nights over the weekend. They played two in New Mexico on Friday and Saturday before closing out the trio of games on Sunday afternoon in Amarillo. Check out how the team did and what is ahead at the American Bank Center this weekend.
GAME #1: Corpus Christi 0-6 New Mexico: Marco Wieser earned his first shutout of the season, making 28 saves, as the New Mexico Mustangs took the first of two games on the weekend against the Corpus Christi IceRays, 6-0, at the Santa Ana Star Center on Friday night. Mason Murovich made 13 third period saves in relief of Pheonix Copley in his first action for Corpus Christi.
GAME #2: Corpus Christi 4-1 New Mexico: The Corpus Christi IceRays scored four unanswered goals, three coming in the third period and defeated the New Mexico Mustangs, 4-1, at the Santa Ana Star Center on Saturday night. Beau Walker scored twice in the third period to go along with an assist while Pheonix Copley earned the victory making 29 saves on 30 shots.
GAME #3: Corpus Christi 3-6 Amarillo: The Corpus Christi IceRays could not hold onto two separate one-goal leads and fell to the Amarillo Bulls, 6-3, at the Cal Farley Coliseum on Sunday night. Michael Benedict, Joe Smereck, and Petr Stloukal tallied for the IceRays in the loss.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: On Friday night, Grande Communications will give glow sticks to the first 2,000 fans as part of Grande’s Grades for Blades program. The IceRays will donate over $400 worth of box tops to the school with the most spirit on Friday. The team will hold a jersey auction immediately following the game. On Saturday, Coca-Cola will give “coozies” to the first 1,000 fans in attendance. It is also “Girls Scouts Night” with special ticket prizes for troops and families.
AROUND THE SOUTH DIVISION: Corpus Christi currently sits fifth in the South Division with a record of 16-22-2 (34 points).
PLAYOFF PICTURE: The IceRays are four (4) points behind the Wichita Falls Wildcats for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Wichita Falls has played one fewer game than the IceRays. There are no remaining meetings between Corpus Christi and Wichita Falls. The Wildcats play Friday and Saturday at home against the New Mexico Mustangs this weekend.
CORPUS CHRISTI’S RECORDS AGAINST THE SOUTH:
AMARILLO: 0-4-0 (8 games remaining, 4 at home, 4 on road)
NEW MEXICO: 7-2-1 (2 games remaining, 2 at home)
TEXAS: 1-6-0 (5 games remaining, 4 at home, 1 on road)
TOPEKA: 0-3-0 (3 games remaining, 3 on road)
WICHITA FALLS: 5-6-1 (series complete)
GOALS: Michael Benedict, 19
ASSISTS: Beau Walker, 28
POINTS: Beau Walker, 42
PLUS/MINUS: Mychal Monteith, +1 (-14 w/ Corpus Christi)
PENALTY MINUTES: Brandon Marshall, 167
SHOTS: Michael Benedict, 126
WINS: Pheonix Copley, 11
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE: Mason Murovich, 3.00
SAVE PERCENTAGE: Mason Murovich, .929
DEJA “BEAU”…Beau Walker once again came to life in the third period of a Saturday game for the second weekend in a row. Walker had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist for three points as the IceRays came from behind to beat the Mustangs, 4-1. Last weekend, Walker scored twice, including the game-winner with 15.7 seconds left in the third period as the ‘Rays won 4-3.
“WALK”ING TO 40…Walker also became the first IceRay to eclipse the 40-point plateau with a third period assist on Saturday night against New Mexico. Walker leads the team with 42 points in 38 games played. He is T-9th in the NAHL in points.
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. It was the latest goal scored by an IceRays player this season. The Czech Republic native has four goals and five assists for nine points in 11 games played for Corpus Christi since being acquired from the Chicago Steel (USHL).
POWER OUTAGE…Corpus Christi was shutout for the sixth time this season in a 6-0 loss to New Mexico on Friday, January 21, 2011.
FINE JEWELRY OUTLET PLAYER OF THE MONTH…Michael Benedict (Eden, NY) received the FJO Player of the Month award for the month of December. During the month he tallied four goals and had two assists for six points in seven games played. The month included a two-goal performance at home against Wichita Falls in a 5-4 shootout victory. Benedict also tallied in the shootout.
ONE GOAL IS THE DIFFERENCE: Corpus Christi has played the most one-goal games in the NAHL. In those games, the team is 11-5-2 (24 points). The 11 wins are the most in the North American Hockey League.
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 2-3-0 at home in 2011.
NEW FACES: A total of 43 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.
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 hosts Amarillo for two games at the American Bank Center this weekend. Friday’s game starts at 7:05 PM while Saturday begins at 7:35 PM. 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”