The Corpus Christi IceRays returned to the American Bank Center to begin their 2011 calendar year. It opened with three games against the Topeka RoadRunners, the only time Topeka will play in Corpus Christi this season. Read all about the series and get caught up on the team as they welcome New Mexico and former IceRay Marco Wieser back to the American Bank Center on Friday and Saturday…
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: On Friday January 14th the IceRays will hold a post-game autograph session where fans can purchase trading cards for $5 dollars/pack and can be signed after the game. Saturday night is City County Night presented by Citgo with the Caller-Times Family Four Pack on sale for $32.
GAME #1: Corpus Christi 1-7 Topeka: The Topeka RoadRunners received goals from seven different players and defeated the Corpus Christi IceRays, 7-1, at the American Bank Center on Thursday night. Kyle Hughes scored his second goal of the season in the loss.
GAME #2: Corpus Christi 3-6 Topeka: In a game which featured 119 penalty minutes, the Topeka RoadRunners came away with a 6-3 victory over the Corpus Christi IceRays on Friday night at the American Bank Center. Michael Benedict, Colton Saucerman, and Josh Obregon each had two-point nights for the IceRays in the loss. Anton Olsson made his first start in net for the IceRays.
GAME #3: Corpus Christi 4-9 Topeka: The Topeka RoadRunners completed the sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays, 9-4, on Saturday night at the American Bank Center. The game featured 186 combined penalty minutes and combined eight special teams goals. Brandon Marshall scored his first goal of the season and Jake Diamond snapped a 24-game personal goalless drought.
AROUND THE SOUTH DIVISION: Corpus Christi currently sits fifth in the South Division with a record of 13-20-2 (28 points).
PLAYOFF PICTURE: The IceRays are nine (9) points behind the Wichita Falls Wildcats for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Both teams have played 35 games and have 23 games remaining. There are no remaining meetings between Corpus Christi and Wichita Falls.
CORPUS CHRISTI’S RECORDS AGAINST THE SOUTH:
AMARILLO: 0-3-0 (9 games remaining, 4 at home, 5 on road)
NEW MEXICO: 4-1-1 (6 games remaining, 4 at home, 2 on road)
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)
ICERAYS “FIRST HALF” LEADERS:
GOALS: Michael Benedict, 18
ASSISTS: Beau Walker, 25
POINTS: Beau Walker, 34
PLUS/MINUS: Mychal Monteith, +17 (-8 w/ Corpus Christi)
PENALTY MINUTES: Brandon Marshall, 159
SHOTS: Michael Benedict, 114
WINS: Pheonix Copley, 8
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE: Anton Olsson, 3.80
SAVE PERCENTAGE: Pheonix Copley, .882
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.
DIAMOND DROPS ONE IN…Jake Diamond snapped a personal 24-game goal drought during Saturday’s 9-4 loss to Topeka. Prior to that tally, Diamond’s last goal was on 9/25 in New Mexico when he scored twice. Diamond is tied for fourth on the team in points with 15.
DON’T FALL ASLEEP… The IceRays played their two longest games time wise of the season against Topeka last week. Friday night’s game lasted two hours and 55 minutes while Saturday’s game spanned three hours and 30 minutes. Both games ended in regulation.
SPECIAL TEAMS UPS AND DOWNS…It was a mixed week for Corpus Christi’s special teams units. On the positive side, the team went 5-29 (17.2%) against the league’s top penalty-killing unit entering the weekend. Five of the team’s eight goals came on the power play. However, the penalty kill struggled, allowing 11 goals on 22 attempts (50%).
BE POSITIVE…Chance Creger has provided strong defensive play in his first 10 games for Corpus Christi. The youngest member of the team (17 years old), Creger is also plus-one (+1) through 10 games played which is second on the team behind Mychal Monteith.
PIMS ADD UP QUICK…The IceRays and RoadRunners played a physical three-game set. Corpus Christi averaged 76.67 penalty minutes per game during the week. All three games featured over 100 combined penalty minutes including a high of 186 during Saturday’s contest. The season-high for an IceRays’ game is 227 combined penalty minutes which happened on 10/09 against New Mexico.
BRING THE FIGHT TO YOUR LIVING ROOM…Brandon Marshall and Josh Munford are both in the top-five for fighting majors this season. Marshall has dropped the gloves nine times (2nd) while Munford has fought eight times (T-5th). Overall, the IceRays have 52 major penalties which is the most in the NAHL.
MARCO…POLO…Former Corpus Christi netminder Marco Wieser will return to the American Bank Center this weekend as a member of the New Mexico Mustangs. It will mark the second time that a former IceRay will play against his former club as Shane Gleason previously played for Amarillo at the American Bank Center. Wieser was traded to New Mexico for forward Joe Smereck, who will also play his first game against his former club.
ONE GOAL IS THE DIFFERENCE: The IceRays have had 17 of their 35 games decided by one goal. In those games, the team is 10-5-2 (22 points). The 10 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.
NEW FACES: A total of 40 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.
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.
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 concludes their five-game homestand with two games against the New Mexico Mustangs on Friday January 14th and 15th. Friday’s game begins at 7:05 PM while Saturday’s begins at 7:45 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”