Weekend Preview: IceRays to Start Three Game Home Series Against Odessa

The IceRays host the Odessa Jackalopes this weekend for a three-game series.  The games will be the back end of five straight against the Jackalopes following a split in Odessa last week.

Last weekend, the Rays fell on Friday night to Odessa by a score of 7-1 but quickly bounced back with a win on Saturday night.  The win put the IceRays in sole possession of fifth place in the division, three points out of a playoff spot.  Corpus has a chance to jump over the fourth-placed Wichita Falls Warriors with a sweep this weekend, which would also tie Odessa in the standings.

Charlie Merkley picked up his first NAHL hat trick in Saturday night’s victory.  Merkley’s three goal night ties a season high for the season with Braden Rourke against Wichita Falls.  With the win on Saturday night, it marks five straight starts with a win for Stefan Carney who improved to 8-4-0 on the season.

The split last weekend brought the Rays to a 3-2-0 record against the Jackalopes this season and to sole possession of fifth place in the South Division.  With the winning record against Odessa, the Rays have a winning record against all four teams in front of them in the standings. In fact, if you take out the non-division portion of the schedule early in the season, the IceRays hold a 19-16-2 record.

Corpus Christi had four players participate in Top Prospects earlier this week.  Butler, Kurtas, Kuznetsov, and Stumpel all got to show off their skills in front of a bunch of scouts.  Combined, the IceRays recorded eight points in the event including six points on day one of the tournament.  Both Nathan Butler and Stepan Kuznetsov recorded three points with Jude Kurtas close behind with two.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at American Bank Center.  Tickets can be purchased at the American Bank Center box office or online at Ticketmaster.  If you can’t make it to the game, coverage of the games can be found on Brewster Street Radio and HockeyTV with coverage starting at 6:45 pm with IceRays Pregame powered by HEB.