The IceRays sit four points out of a playoff spot heading into this weekend, as they face off against the team that they are chasing in the Amarillo Wranglers. The Rays coming off of a sweep in El Paso look to defend home ice against the Wranglers.
So far this season, the IceRays have struggled with the Wranglers, but come into the weekend following a pair of wins in high-scoring contests in El Paso. The IceRays have won ten of their last sixteen games played since traveling to Amarillo in mid-November. The IceRays are 0-4-0 against the Wranglers on the season.
At one point in full control of first place in the division, Amarillo’s stretch as of late has been rough. Since facing off against Corpus Christi at ABC in early December, the Wranglers have only won one of the ten games they have played in. Amarillo has collected four points over that stretch and were forced to make a lot of roster moves.
With one of their defensemen heading onto Northern Michigan of division one ranks, the Wranglers have been forced to try and find a defender to take his spot. One move that was made was to trade for Corpus Christi defenseman Jayden Jensen. Jensen was the alternate captain for the Rays and was traded earlier this month. Jensen is scheduled to make his return to ABC this weekend.
Special teams will be a big part of this weekend’s matchup with the Wranglers. The last time Amarillo faced off against the IceRays they were 5/7 on the power play. With the five goals, their even strength goals didn’t even factor into the final score of either game. Last weekend special teams shined for the IceRays scoring nine goals on the weekend with only three being at five on five. Besides the two four on four goals, Corpus Christi was 3/11 on the power play and 11/11 on penalty kills. The Rays penalty kill scored two short handed goals as well.
It is a big weekend at American Bank Center with the Rays right in the middle of the playoff hunt in the South Division. It is not only a big weekend on the ice but off as well with University College night happening on Saturday night. University students get in for free with proof of ID on Saturday.
Traditional deals are in place as well with Frosty Friday for the game’s opening game, meaning $4 beer, and the Family Four Pack, four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for $40, on Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm on both nights at American Bank Center.