Weekend Preview: IceRays Get Set to Grapple Top-Seeded Brahmas

Jan 20, 2023

Corpus Christi, TX (Jan. 20, 2023) – The Corpus Christi IceRays’ next game is tonight, Friday, January 20th, 2023. It’s College Night and Frosty Friday at the American Bank Center (free admission with a valid college ID and $4 draft beers). Puck drops at 7:05 PM CDT against the Lone Star Brahmas.

Last Weekend Recap

The IceRays split their two-game set last weekend against the Ice Wolves, and with that, snapped a nine-game losing streak. Playing 6,000 feet above sea level did not seem to faze the IceRays as they came out with a ferocious effort on Friday night against New Mexico.

Hans Martin Ulvebne had the opening goal just over five minutes in, and Michael Casey tallied early in the second period to put the IceRays up 2-1. Two goals were all the IceRays would need thanks to goaltender Lukas Malant who was sensational, turning aside 50 of the 51 shots he faced.

The IceRays unfortunately were not able to complete the weekend sweep and fell 3-1 to the Ice Wolves on Saturday night. The game had nearly an identical start with the IceRays opening the scoring at the 5:32 mark of the first period, thanks to Jackson Beach’s third goal of the year.

It didn’t take long for the game to turn in New Mexico’s favor, however, who would score three unanswered goals over the next period and a half, two of which came on the power play.

Penalties were clearly the story in this one, as the IceRays uncharacteristically logged 41 penalty minutes over the course of the game. They were scoreless on just one power play opportunity of their own. Slovakia-native Patrik Jurcak made his debut in net for the IceRays and stopped 40 of the 43 shots he faced.

Preview Against Lone Star

Undoubtedly the biggest news this past week was the trade of IceRays now former Captain, Michael Casey, to the Aberdeen Wings. Casey was an integral contributor offensively and second in the team in scoring, logging 22 points (8 G, 14 A) in 34 games played.

In return, the IceRays receive Aberdeen Wings forward, Nils Forselius, a West Point-commit who logged 13 points in 26 games with the Wings this year.

The IceRays are 0-4 this season so far against the Brahmas and 7-22-5 overall. As a team, the IceRays have scored 14 fewer goals than the Brahmas this year. Lone Star’s goals against stats are impressive, having allowed only 56 goals through 35 games this season.

The IceRays are ranked 26th in the league on the power play at 13.4%, and 12th on the penalty kill at 83.02%. The IceRays are also the fourth least-penalized team in the league with 401 penalty minutes on the year.

The Brahmas are 25-4-1-3 overall and 7-2-0-1 in their last 10. Their power play is ranked 27th in the NAHL at 12.6% with 13 power play goals on the year. They are ranked 4th overall on the PK at 86.3%, and are the 12th most-penalized team in the NAHL with 584 penalty minutes this season.

The IceRays won three out of eight meetings against the Brahmas last season.

Players to Watch

Lone Star Brahmas forward Dhillon Wilde, a former member of the IceRays, picked up his team-leading 11th goal this past Monday against the Odessa Jackalopes. He has points in back-to-back games coming into this weekend series and 17 on the season (11 G, 6 A). Wilde played 10 games for the IceRays last season. He recorded one goal and three assists over his brief stint with the team.

Meanwhile for the IceRays, Hans Ulvebne leads the team with 24 pts and is eighth in the league in scoring across all NAHL rookies. He has seven goals and 17 assists over 30 games in his freshman campaign and recently announced his commitment to Bemidji State University in Minnesota. As mentioned, he had the opening goal early in the game last Friday against the Ice Wolves and helped the team snap their longest skid of the season.

Join the Action and Bring the Sting

IceRays tickets are on sale at the American Bank Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information on the IceRays, or to purchase tickets, visit us here on goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK (7825).

All IceRays games are available to listen live on Brewster Street Radio and their Mobile App and you can watch live games on HockeyTV.com.

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