Mar 6, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Robert Howell, owner of Sungod Graphics based out of Colorado, has recently completed painting a goalie mask for IceRays goaltender Anthony Stolarz that blends the city of Corpus Christi along with IceRays hockey. 

Howell has painted everything from motorcycle helmets to electric guitars, however, he has also done his fair share of goaltender hockey masks.  “I've probably done upwards of 25 to 30 masks some of those being my own and three now for the Ice Rays, One for Phoenix Copley, Chris Tebbs, and now Anthonys’.”

The process can vary depending on the design.  Most goalies have an idea what they want on their mask whether it is something they saw from another mask, to an idea they came up with.  For Stolarz, he had a pretty good idea of what he wanted. “It can take anywhere from a day or two too a week, most goalies I've worked with have a pretty good idea what they want or have seen a pro goalie's mask they like parts of . Anthony had a good idea of what he wanted, and sent pics of some mask elements he liked, then left the rest up to me,” said Howell.

The toughest part according to Howell, is trying to fit everything on the mask.  “The hardest part is getting an idea to fit on a mask.  A lot of times it looks great on paper or in your head, but doesn't translate at all to the mask. You have to take all the weird angles and vent holes into consideration along with the fact most people will see the mask from the stands, so you want the design to be appealing up close but still be strong enough so it looks good from a distance.”

The mask is designed like a red brick wall but has features that are only unique to the Corpus Christi area.  On the left side, you will see the harbor bridge that goes over the water leading into the city.  The right side shows the U.S.S Lexington that floats right outside the American Bank Center, along with “IceRays” that are holographic above the ship. 

The top of the helmet sports the circular IceRays logo which are seen on the crème jerseys, while his number 29 sits just below the cage. 

Howell says this was one of his more exciting tasks to tackle.  “I was excited to do a mask for Anthony,” Howell said.  “One because I love doing masks for the Ice Ray's because of the strong logo and color combo, but also because he is a big prospect, my goal is very much the same as most the young men who play for the Ice Ray's, and that’s to get a Mask that I painted in the NHL, It's exciting because I get to know these guys and I follow their careers and get to root for them to fulfill their hockey dreams.”

“I just want to thank Mr. Howell for doing an amazing job on my helmet,” said Anthony Stolarz.  “It came out better than I was hoping and I am excited to wear it.”

Stolarz recently committed to play Division 1 Ice Hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and is a two time NAHL Star of the Week.  Earlier in the year, the IceRays goaltender was awarded Top U.S Junior Hockey Goalie of the Week.  Stolarz is also one of the top goaltending prospects in North America. 

Visit Sungod Graphics at, on twitter at @sungodgraphics. 

The IceRays hit the road this weekend to face New Mexico.  Puck drops at 8:05PM, coverage begins at 7:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on ESPN Radio 1440AM. 

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