NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – After two weekends on the road the boys are finally back in town and are set for a two game set against the Corpus Christi IceRays, beginning Friday:
THE OPPONENT: Currently 17-18-4, the IceRays are sitting at fourth in the south division. While at the moment they are in position to make the playoffs, the Odessa Jackalopes are just six points behind them and have two games at hand. Every game from here on out holds just that much extra value to the boys from the beach and they know they have a chance to steal some points here at NYTEX.
The team has made it evident they’re very much so not only trying to make the playoffs, but they’re looking to make a run. Just yesterday it was announced that they’ve acquired forward Brady Crabtree from the Amarillo Bulls in exchange for a second round pick. The St. Louis native isn’t going to blow anyone away when it comes to point production but he’s an energy guy and is a pain in the side of the opposition at all times.
Crabtree’s arrival hasn’t been the only positive news for the team this week though as leading scorer Carter Johnson announced his commitment to the University of Miami (OH) on Tuesday. Johnson has feasted against the Brahmas this year recording eight points in the five contests between the two sides. Keep your eye on #17 this weekend.
In their last three weekend sets, the ‘Rays have split series against the Brahmas, the Topeka Roadrunners and most recently, the Amarillo Bulls.
THE BRAHMAS: Coming off of last weekend’s disappointing trip to Odessa, the team has been engaged in coming out stronger this time around. With numbers in the season series against the IceRays in their favor (3-1-1) the next five games, all against Corpus, will undoubtedly take a toll on the Brahmas physical condition.
Former Brahmas Kyle Patava suffered a collarbone injury during the trip to the beach in November and who could unfortunately forget the laceration that kept Tomas Brejcha out of action for more than two months. During Corpus’ last trip to NYTEX, Sean Giles got his facial features roughed up as well.
Giles transition from playing with a full metal cage to a bubble shield but has now returned to his normal visor. Brejcha will be in the lineup at home this weekend for the first time since November 14th. Last weekend he scored a goal and recorded a fight, a pattern that this team would certainly welcome again this weekend.
Last weekend the team finally returned to it’s normal Friday-Saturday routine in the crease with Conor O’Brien starting the opener and Corbin Kaczperski getting the Saturday night nod. It appears safe to say O’Brien is out of his slump and it comes at perfect timing, considering “Kaz” has had a bit of a rough go as of late.
TICKETS: The IceRays play a “rough ‘em up” style of hockey so if you have seats near the glass, be prepared at all times this weekend! If you are still in need of tickets, click the tab atop your screen, call 817-336-4ICE, or swing by the box office!