The excitement is building for the Corpus Christi IceRays, who will have the brooms out Thursday night looking to complete a sweep of the Amarillo Bulls in the opening round of the NAHL’s South Division semifinals.
After winning the first two games of the series over the weekend in Amarillo, the IceRays have a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
As they were back at practice this morning, the IceRays were excited about their chances to wrap up the series Thursday night at the American Bank Center. Face-off will be at 7:05 p.m.
These players range in age from 18 to 21. They all have fascinating stories as they’ve traveled hundreds of miles to play here.
Some have come from other countries like Sweden, England, Russia and Slovakia.
Left wing Nikita Krivo spent 10 years in Russia. Now he’s in South Texas trying to develop his skills for college and hopefully later the pro game.
“It’s definitely different with the warm weather and the sunshine and the beach, but when you’re at the rink, you are focusing on hockey,” Krivo said. “It’s a good mix. You have a little fun off the ice, but when you are at the rink, it’s all business.”
Co-captain Coltan Wilkie has come to Corpus Christi from his hometown of Omaha, Neb.
“With Coach Cruthers, he’s helped me a ton with my development and everything like that and just love it and felt welcomed around here,” Wilkie said. “Back in Nebraska, it’s pretty cold right now. So the nice warm weather is good to me. It’s different, but it’s a good change.”
They all love the weather here.
And with good reason.