Did you know Corpus Christi has a hockey team? We here on the Coastal Bend put on black and red for our IceRays – a professional club competing in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). The IceRays have a seasoned tradition of winning dating back to their founding in the late 90s, and regularly compete for league titles. So, for all the hockey fans visiting Corpus Christi, make sure to come on down to the American Bank Center to take in a game. You won’t be disappointed!
The IceRays were first established in 1997 when they joined the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), and played their first game on Oct. 13, 1998 at the Memorial Coliseum – which was coined “The Igloo” by Corpus Christi locals for its frigid temperatures.
The IceRays spent three seasons in the WPHL – compiling a 114-77-19 record with a trio of playoff appearances under head coach Taylor Hall – before they merged with nine other teams to form the Central Hockey League (CHL). For the next 12 years, they competed as a professional hockey club in the CHL through the 2009-10 season. Following a one-year hiatus as the club underwent an ownership change, the IceRays joined the NAHL and have competed in the league ever since.
FROM THEN TO NOW
The IceRays feature a roster of players from all over the world, most of whom span from 18 to 21 years old and are pursuing goals of making it to the National Hockey League (NHL) – the top league in all of professional hockey across the world. Notable alumni who made it to the NHL include Anthony Stolarz (Philadelphia Flyers 2016-present), Tomas Vomaka (Nashville Predators 2017-present), Ryan Garbutt (Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks 2011-2017) and Phoenix Copely (Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues 2015-2017).
The team will play a total of 60 games in the 2018-19 season, facing teams from Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas, Alaska, Louisiana and Kansas. In addition, they’ll participate in the NAHL Showcase – a league playoff tournament that is attended by numerous NHL scouts and coaches.
The club has a strong digital presence online. You can follow each of their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat, and watch games through pay-per-view at HockeyTv.com. Can’t catch the live stream? That’s OK. You can listen to the radio broadcast on SportsRadio Corpus Christi 1230 AM. Each broadcast has a 15-minute pre- and post-game show highlighting the team. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s official website.
Hockey season is just around the corner. So, it’s time to #JOINTHERISE! over at the American Bank Center to catch all the action and cheer on Corpus Christi’s hometown club in its 20th season. And don’t forget to wear your black and red. Start planning your vacation today at visitcorpuschristi.org!