No. 6 New Mexico Ice Wolves (12-33-2-3, 29pts) vs. No. 5 Corpus Christi IceRays (15-29-3-4, 37pts)
at Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, NM
Time: 7:30 p.m. MST (Friday) | 7:00 p.m. MST (Saturday)
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 2-0-0-2
NMO: 30pts, Dominique (11g-19a)
COR: 31pts, Coughlin (15g-16a)
For the last two weeks, the Ice Wolves have been unable to close the gap on Corpus Christi. They still sit eight points back of fifth place. However, the Ice Wolves have to still play the IceRays four times before the season ends. The IceRays are the only team in the South Division that has not beaten the Ice Wolves in regulation. Corpus Christi did not play last weekend so New Mexico now only has one game in hand on them. If New Mexico wins its final four games against Corpus Christi, then those eight points will go a long way to ensuring they finish their inaugural season in fifth place.
The Ice Wolves will be home for the first three weeks of March. With their final home games being on Mar. 20-21 versus the IceRays. Then they will finish their first season in the NAHL on the road against Odessa and Topeka. When playing in front of their hometown crowd, the Ice Wolves are 7-13-1-1. This weekend will be the first time that Corpus Christi will be visiting the Outpost Ice Arenas. The following weekend the Ice Wolves will host the Shreveport Mudbugs. New Mexico has not beaten the Mudbugs yet this season (0-6) and will look to avoid being swept in another season series.
The Ice Wolves enter this weekend as the sixth-most penalized team (956). The South Division has always been a physical one, and there is no exception this year. Out of the top-seven most-penalized teams, five are from the South. The IceRays have 704PIM this season, putting them 19th in the league. The Ice Wolves must stay poised throughout this weekend if they want to snap their four-game losing streak.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Ice Wolves (G: #1 – Henrik Laursen)
The Frederiksberg, DEN native just got done playing his sixth-straight game (2-4) for the Ice Wolves. The 20-year-old is in his first season in the NAHL and has a record of 6-13-1-1 (66GA). He ranks 15th among rookie goalies in goals-against-average (3.28) and 11th in save percentage (.909). The 6’4” 180-pound goaltender has had 725 shots come his way, which is the tenth most for a rookie net-minder. Laursen still has one more year of junior eligibility. He has a record of 1-0-0-1 against the IceRays this season. Last year, Laursen played nine games for Honeybaked U18 (HPHL) finishing with a 1.59GAA and a .949SV%.
IceRays (G: #1 – Jeremy Forman)
Forman is in his second year in the NAHL. The Northbrook, IL native made his NAHL debut with the Brookings Blizzard in 2017-18 (2.58GAA and .925SV%). He finished out that year with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL) playing 17 games (2.97GAA and .895SV%). The 5’10” 165-pound goalie is in his final year of junior eligibility. The 20-year-old has a record of 2-0 against the Ice Wolves but has played in three games (6GA). Last year, Forman played 32 games for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (2.68GAA and .910SV%).