Rayz split weekend vs. division rivals
Season Record: 25-25-7(57 points) Home Record: 13-12-3(29 points) Away Record: 12-13-4(28 points)
Week in Review: On Friday and Saturday, the Corpus Christi Rayz went 1-1 in the second to last weekend of the season. The Rayz beat the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 6-3 on Saturday night to break out of their scoring slump and snap their season-high ten game losing streak. However, a 4-2 loss one night earlier to the Laredo Bucks officially eliminated the Rayz from post-season contention. With a .500 record and 57 points in as many games, the Rayz are currently in third place in the Southeast Division with three games remaining in the season. Corpus Christi will conclude the year with home games Thursday vs. Rio Grande Valley and Saturday night against Austin. Corpus Christi will play their final road game in San Angelo on Friday.
With their backs against the wall, the Rayz hosted the Laredo Bucks for the final time this season to open the weekend of play. The Bucks came into the game as the hottest team in the CHL going undefeated in their previous eight games. The Rayz jumped out to an early lead in the first period when Bernie John opened the scoring making it 1-0 Corpus Christi. John had an excellent week, tallying a pair of points in both games. He book-ended the scoring of the hockey game with a late third period goal, however Laredo controlled the middle of the contest. The Bucks scored three goals in a 3:19 span in the second period and added a third period goal to beat the Rayz 4-2. With the loss, the Rayz dropped the season series 5-7 to the Bucks. Despite the loss, the Rayz did not go down without a fight. In the second period, two separate line brawls ensued with a total of 111 penalty minutes coming between them. Two players from each team were ejected and the Rayz and Bucks have already set the tempo for a continued rivalry heading into next season. The loss officially removed the Rayz from the playoff race while the Bucks remained on a tear and clinched their second straight Southeast Division title with a win Saturday night in Austin.
On Saturday night, the Rayz played their first game against the Killer Bees since January 22nd. While the playoffs were no longer a possibility, the Rayz still played with something to prove and looked to continue their undefeated (7-0-2) season record against Rio Grande Valley. The Rayz swarmed the Bees right off the opening face-off as Dave Gilmore scored his first of three power play goals 55 seconds into the hockey game. After scoring only 14 goals in their previous 11 games, Corpus Christi busted out of their scoring drought in the Valley. The Rayz jumped out to a 3-0 over the Killer Bees, but Rio Grande Valley answered back. With three goals of their own, the Bees tied the game in the third period. The tie game, however, was short-lived as Dave Gilmore completed his hat trick performance 47 seconds after the Bees tied the game to recapture the lead for good for Corpus Christi. Ryan Carter scored twice down the stretch to insure the victory for Corpus Christi and the Rayz ten-game winless skid came to an end. Gilmores hat trick was the first of its kind for any Rayz player this season. Josh Blackburn made 40 saves for the Rayz to improve to 6-0 against Rio Grande Valley. Special teams were the story of the hockey game as the Rayz went 4/8 on the power play and held the Bees to 1/10. The Rayz added a shorthanded goal giving the Rayz five of their six goals on special teams.
The Rayz are now off until Thursday, when they will complete their home-and-home and season series with the Killer Bees at the American Bank Center. Corpus Christi will play the Bees who have been eliminated, the San Angelo Saints who have clinched a playoff spot, and the Austin Ice Bats who trail the final playoff spot by two points heading into the final week of the season.
This Weeks Schedule: Thursday, March 17th vs. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 7:00pm
Friday, March 18th @ San Angelo Saints 7:05pm
Saturday, March 19th vs. Austin Ice Bats 7:00pm
Last Weeks Results: Friday, March 11th vs. Laredo Bucks 4-2 L
Saturday, March 12th @ Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 6-3 W
All Rayz home games are played at the American Bank Center. All games will be broadcast live on the flagship station of the Corpus Christi Rayz - 103.7 FM KOUL and online at the Rayz website - www.ccrayz.com. All home games, along with select road games, are available for viewing on the internet at www.chltv.com.
Practice Schedule: The Rayz will practice at the Champion Toyota Ice Center at the Memorial Coliseum from 10:00am 11:00am Wednesday morning. The Rayz will hold a pre-game skate Thursday morning at 10:00am at the American Bank Center. The skate will last approximately 30 minutes. All media members are invited to Rayz practices unless otherwise slated.
Dave Gilmores hat trick on Saturday night was the first three goal game recorded by any Rayz player this year. Gilmore scored all three of his goals on the power play as part of a four-point weekend. Gilmore is tied for third on the team with 19 goals, and is fourth on the Rayz with 45 points.
Bee-n There, Done That
Corpus Christi beat Rio Grande Valley 6-3 on Saturday Night. It was old hat for the Rayz who are no strangers to beating the Killer Bees. The Rayz have dominated the Bees this year earning points all ten games between the two teams. No other team that has played the Bees more than four times has an undefeated record against them. The Rayz will try to completed an undefeated season sweep over Rio Grande Valley on Thursday in the final meeting of the year.
After struggling recently to find the net with the consistency they had earlier in the year, the Rayz found the break out game they were looking for Saturday night. The Rayz exploded out of the gates, scoring 55 seconds into the game and eventually tying a season high with six goals in the game. After scoring just five goals in seven goals in the prior six games, the Rayz came within one of that total Saturday night alone. Corpus Christi also found their power play hiding in the Valley, going 4/8 on the man advantage. Coming into the game the Rayz were 3 for 55 over the previous 12 games, and surpassed that total of goals in the 60 minutes against Rio Grande Valley.
On the Thursday night, the Corpus Christi Rayz will celebrate St. Patricks Day at the American Bank Center when they host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. To honor the holiday, the Rayz will be wearing specialty green jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game. Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase green beer at the American Bank Center and fans will receive complimentary green beads when they enter the game.
Take a Break
Students looking to take a cool break from the Spring heat have the perfect opportunity this weekend. The Corpus Christi Rayz are offering discounted tickets to all students celebrating Spring Break. All students with a valid school ID can receive special tickets starting at just $6 for the final two games of the season this Thursday and Saturday night at 7:00pm. Tickets are available at the American Bank Center box office and all Ticketmaster locations. For more information, please contact the Rayz at (361)814-PUCK.
Ryan Carter scored his fifth shorthanded goal of the season Saturday night moving into a tie for the most shorthanded goals in the league. Carter, who is third on the Rayz with 47 points this season, was named the Best Penalty Killer last week in the CHL Best of the Best Awards Poll, voted on by all 17 CHL teams.
Fan Appreciation Night
The Rayz will conclude their season with a bang on Saturday night at 7:00pm when they host the Austin Ice Bats on Fan Appreciation Night. The Rayz will give away 2004-2005 commemorative Team Photos to all fans in attendance and give away prizes all night long. Fans will have the chance to receive great prizes such as a trip for two to Las Vegas or a Cruise Vacation. There will also be a post-game autograph session with every member of the Rayz. Fans can meet all of their favorite players following the game and get any pieces of merchandise or their team photos signed. Make your plans to be at the American Bank Center for the final game of the year on Saturday.
This Week in the Community: On Tuesday the CHLs Best Dance Team the Corpus Christi Sting Team will be appearing with mascot Stinger Ray at Janets Cakery from 6:00-7:00pm. All fans are encouraged to come out to meet them and get autographs. The Corpus Christi Rayz Boosterz are holding the 3rd Annual ICE COLD Golf Challenge on Sunday and all of Corpus Christi can get involved. The Golf Challenge begins at noon for the shotgun start. It will be held at Pharaohs Golf Club with a four-man scramble. The price is $60/Player or $240 Team. There will be Dinner & a party immediately following the event. Sponsorships for the Golf Challenge start for as low as $50. For more information, please contact Booster Club President, David Parent at (361) 850-8403 or 779-4288, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To book an appearance with the Corpus Christi Rayz players, Sting Team or team mascot Stinger Ray, please contact Community Relations Coordinator, Erika Flick at (361)814-7825.
This Week at the Champion Toyota Ice Center at Memorial Coliseum: Public Skating is available this week at the Champion Toyota Ice Center at the Memorial Coliseum. For information, session times and fees, please call (361)879-0795.
Rayz Next Home Game: The Rayz return home on Thursday night to begin their final weekend of hockey this season. Be there as Corpus Christi hosts their rivals, the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees at 7:00pm. Tickets start for as little as $10 (plus a $1.50 facility fee) and are available at the American Bank Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. There are only two more home games this season. Make your plans to see the Corpus Christi Rayz today. For more information, please call the Rayz at (361)814-PUCK.
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