No. 6 New Mexico Ice Wolves (9-29-2-2, 22pts) vs. No. 5 Corpus Christi IceRays (13-26-3-3, 32pts)
at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX
Time: 7:05 p.m. CST (Friday) | 3:05 p.m. CST (Sunday)
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 1-0-0-1
NMO: 22pts, Dominique (9g-13a)
COR: 26pts, Coughlin (12g-14a)
This weekend the Ice Wolves will finish up their four-week road trip against the IceRays. The only meeting between these two teams was back on Nov. 29-30, when the Ice Wolves picked up three out of a possible four points. During that weekend series, the Ice Wolves scored nine goals and allowed six. New Mexico is only ten points behind Corpus and the Ice Wolves still have three games in hand. So far during the road trip, New Mexico is 1-4-1. Three of their five losses were decided by one goal. When they return to the Outpost Ice Arenas next weekend they will face the Odessa Jackalopes, who just snapped their 22-game losing streak with a 6-3 win versus Shreveport.
HARD TO COME BY:
While New Mexico may be lower in the standings compared to Corpus, the Ice Wolves are moving in the right direction whereas the IceRays are trending downwards. Wins have been hard to come by for the IceRays as they are currently on a 15-game losing streak (0-14-1). They have scored 21 goals and allowed 62 during their current losing streak. However, their last three games were all one-goal differentials. Also, they have been shutout five times in their last 15 games. Their last win came on Dec. 6th against Lone Star (3-1).
The Ice Wolves are currently ranked 23rd in the league when it comes to powerplay percentage (11.9%). Their opponent this weekend is ranked 24th in the same category with a 10.8% success rate. While New Mexico may not have the best powerplay in the league, they make up for it on the penalty kill. They are 16th in the NAHL while down a man on the ice (79.1%). Corpus is also better when it comes to killing off penalties. They are currently the seventh best team when they have a man in the box (85.6%). The Ice Wolves have four short-handed goals this season, which is three more than the IceRays have.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Ice Wolves (F: #21 – Alex Dominique)
The leading scorer for New Mexico earned honorable mention for NAHL ‘Players of the Week’ after picking up three points against Topeka (1g, 2a). The Mississauga, Ontario native had a three-point weekend (1g, 2a) when the Ice Wolves last faced the IceRays. The rookie is tied with Spencer Rudrud for the team lead in goals with nine. However, the 6’0” 170-pound forward leads the team in assists (13). Dominique was drafted #181 by the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) in 2017. Prior to entering the NAHL, the 19-year-old spent the last two seasons playing for the North Jersey Avalanche 16U and 18U teams in the T1EHL and AYHL. In 2017-18, Dominique was named AYHL 16U (National) All-American Forward.
IceRays (F: #20 – Erik Bargholtz)
The Appleton, WI native is currently in his second season in the NAHL. Last year, Bargholtz played 54 games for the Janesville Jets (6g, 12a). This season though, the 18-year-old is second on the team in scoring (11g, 13a). The Michigan State University commit was drafted #136 by the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) in 2017. The 6’2”190-pound forward spent from 2015-17 playing 23 games each season for Appleton United (USHS-WI), totaling 67 points (33g, 34a). Bargholtz had a goal and an assist in the first ever meeting between New Mexico and Corpus.