CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Nick Monfils, Brad LeLievre, and Maurin Bouvet all scored third period goals to erase a two goal deficit and force overtime, however Tyler Gernhofer scored his third of the game with 51 seconds left in OT to get Amarillo the extra point and the 4-3 win on Sunday afternoon inside the American Bank Center.
The Bulls came into the game with the top ranked power-play in the North American Hockey League and showed why early on. After Connor Kelly took a penalty early in the first on a tripping, Roman Ammirato found Tyler Gernhofer waiting in the slot. Gernhofer took the pass from Ammirato and wristed the puck over the shoulder of Ben Myers for a 1-0 lead just 3:48 into the game. Cody Gylling had the other assist.
Corpus Christi increased their scoring chances late in the second period while on the power-play. A shot from the left wing circle was deflected off the crossbar and out of play by Martin Hojbjerg.
All the scoring came in the third period as the Bulls built a two goal lead early on while up a skater. As Maurin Bouvet sat in the box, Gernhofer scored his second of the game just 56sec into the frame with assists from Matt Sieckhaus and Brendan Vetter to go up 2-0.
Corpus Christi started the comeback when Jake Durflinger saw Nick Monfils going to the front of the net, backhanding the puck right to his stick, and Monfils fired it behind Paul Berrafato to get the ‘Rays on the board and at the same time splitting the Amarillo lead in half at 2-1. The other assist was picked up by Michael Mahan in his first game in Corpus Christi.
Another new face electrified the crowd to tie the game up at two goals each. Grant Hutton skated down the right wing wall and hit Brad LeLievre with a centering pass that the former Kenai River Brown Bear slid by Berrafato for his first goal in two games with the IceRays at 10:52 of the third period.
A questionable goal gave the Bulls the lead shortly after LeLievre tied the game. On a jam up in front of Ben Myers’ net, the puck somehow crossed over the goal line as Myers was pushed into the net. However, it counted and the Bulls were given the lead once again, this time at 3-2.
Corpus Christi hung around all game long and it paid off courtesy of Maurin Bouvet. From one import player to another, Martin Hojbjerg sent the puck right to Bouvet who went in one-on-two. Bouvet cut across the top of the circle and wired a wrist shot top shelf on Berrafato to tie the game with 6:04 remaining in regulation.
Both teams got a point and went into overtime. With 51 seconds left in OT, Tyler Gernhofer went around Jake McNamara and beat Myers on the glove side for the game winner, and the hat trick as Amarillo escaped with a 4-3 win.
Myers stopped 38 of 42 in the loss.
The IceRays are on the road next weekend as they take on the Odessa Jackalopes. Puck drops at 7:17PM, coverage begins at 7:00PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on 91.1FM KSGR, ksgr.org, ustream.com, and fasthockey.com.
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