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Rayz Ink Trio Of Goaltenders

September 4, 2007 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Corpus Christi IceRays News Release

The Corpus Christi Rayz filled the spot between the pipes on Tuesday, signing three goaltenders for the 2007-2008 season, Rayz Head Coach Ken McRae announced. Former Boston University standout, Jason Tapp led the trio of signings and will make his Corpus Christi debut in October. The Rayz also re-signed Kevin Couture, who was a late season acquisition last year, and netminder Jay Chrapala. The goaltender signings raise the total number of players under contract to 16. Training camp opens in under five weeks, and the Rayz 10th Anniversary season is set to begin on Friday, October 19th vs. the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Corporate packages and season tickets are currently available. For more information, please call the Rayz at (361) 814-PUCK.

Tapp, 29, joins the Rayz for his sixth professional season following a successful career at perennial collegiate powerhouse, Boston University. In five seasons in North America, Tapp has racked up an impressive 116-79-22 career record. In that time, he's never finished a year with a losing record. His save percentage has been .900 or better in each of the last four seasons, all while he's played a large number of games. Tapp has been a workhorse throughout his career, but the Kelowna, BC native increased on that even further the past two seasons. While with the Quad City Mallards for the past two seasons, Tapp appeared in 64 and 62 games, respectively. Last year, he finished his campaign with a 31-19-8 record. McRae said that that he feels that Tapp is a quality goaltender who can be relied on for an entire season.

"He's a fierce competitor," McRae said. "He wants to be in there every night and has shown the ability to be effective when he is." Standing 5'9" and weighing 182 lbs., Tapp relies heavily on his quickness and agility between the pipes. "He's very similar to a guy like Ron Vogel," added McRae. "He's small, but very athletic and he plays the puck extremely well."

A year ago, Tapp helped turn the Mallards around after a very rough start to their season. Quad City got out to a rough 2-8-1 beginning, before Tapp helped the club weather the storm and finished the year going 29-11-7 in his final 47 games. Tapp's numbers over the final four months of the season featured 28 wins against just 11 losses, a 2.88 GAA and a .913 save percentage. Tapp finished fourth overall in wins and third in games and minutes played.

"Quad City suffered a lot of injuries on defense last year," said McRae. "When it looked like that team was in a lot of trouble, Tapp was able to put the club on his back and turn them into a playoff team. The way he played down the stretch is what I want him to bring to the Rayz this season."

Before his time with the Mallards, Tapp spent the 2004-2005 season with the Missouri River Otters, where he was teammates with Rayz MVP Justin Quenneville. He turned pro in 2002 playing half the year in Holland and then moving to the Knoxville Ice Bears of the ACHL. The following season he split time between the Bears and the Columbus Cottonmouths of the ECHL. As a sophomore at Boston University, Tapp appeared in 16 games, backing up Rick DiPietro, who was the first overall pick in the 2000 National Hockey League Entry Draft and currently plays for the New York Islanders.

Couture, 22, returns to the Gulf Coast after joining the Rayz late last season. The Mississauga, Ontario native had a busy rookie campaign last year, playing for three different CHL teams. Before joining the Rayz, Couture began the season with the Austin Ice Bats, appearing in 12 games before making his way to the Arizona Sundogs. After five games with the Sundogs, he was signed by the Rayz on March 23rd during the final weekend of the regular season. His lone appearance for the Rayz came in the third period of the regular season finale, when he allowed one goal on 12 Laredo Bucks shots. The 5'11", 180 lbs. backstop went on to dress as the Rayz' backup netminder in all 12 playoff games, and finished his rookie season with a 6-11 record, a 3.22 GAA and a .897 save percentage. Couture also holds the distinction of being the last Ice Bats goaltender to beat the Rayz - a 3-2 win on December 14th at the American Bank Center.

"After joining us late for a playoff run, I liked what I saw out of Kevin," McRae said. "His intensity and effort were shown immediately in practice and we're happy to have him back."

The Rayz rounded out the busy Tuesday with the announcement that they had signed netminder Jay Chrapala. Chrapala is a 26 year old goaltender from Hamilton, Ontario who turned pro last season with the Richmond Renegades of the Southern Professional Hockey League. In 21 games, he earned a 7-9-1 record with a 4.43 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Prior to turning pro, the 6'3", 199 lbs. Chrapala played four solid seasons of college hockey at Manhattanville College. His collegiate statistics showcase a stellar 30-11-3 record with a 2.26 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

"Jay's a good, young goalie who'll come in to camp, push our guys and try to win a spot on this roster," McRae said. "He'll have that chance here and we look forward to welcoming him to training camp."

The Corpus Christi Rayz return to the American Bank Center for their 10th Anniversary on Saturday, October 20th at 7:05pm. The Rayz are proud to be celebrating a decade along the Gulf Coast and invite all of South Texas to join in the fun of the 2007-2008 campaign. Season tickets and corporate packages are currently available through the Rayz office. For more information, please call the Rayz at (361) 814-PUCK.

RAYZ 2007-2008 ROSTER

Joe Blaznek F

Jay Chrapala G

Kevin Couture G

Adam Hogg C

Brent Howarth RW

Jon Jankus F

Nick Lindberg C

Adam Powell LW

Justin Quenneville C

Derek Smith F

Kevin Watters RW

Drew Baker D

Chris Mei D

Geno Parrish D

Ryan Swanson D

Jason Tapp G

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