ICERAYS CAN’T HOLD OFF BULLS CHARGE, DROP 5-3

AMARILLO, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (19-22-5) conceded four-unanswered goals and were dropped 5-3 by the Amarillo Bulls (11-31-4) on Saturday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. The IceRays and Bulls tie in the season series for the second-straight year, going 6-5-1.

The IceRays put up a hard press early and found the game’s first goal. Forward Mason Krueger claimed his second-straight game with a goal at 4:17 to take a 1-0 lead for the road side. The game’s first power play brought about a power play goal, but it was Bulls forward Coale Norris to jab it in down low at 10:26 to tie the game, 1-1. From there, the IceRays came back and answered with two starting at 11:55. On their first power play, forward Carter Johnson found a loose puck hiding in front of the goalline and stabbed it in to take back the lead, 2-1. IceRays forward Nathan Bryer doubled the IceRays lead, 3-1, when he bodied a puck into the net out of mid-air at 17:59.

The second period was owned by Amarillo, and special teams came into play for the home side to work back into the contest. At 7:50, Bulls defenseman Phil Fromberger found an open puck in the high slot, and his shot hit off an IceRays glove and by the sprawling netminder to come within one, 3-2. The ensuing power play resulted in a tie hockey contest, 3-3, thanks to defenseman Jeff Solow at 9:16.

Things fell apart in the third period for the IceRays. Bulls forward Joey DiBenedetto pushed the puck through the IceRays crease to take their first lead of the weekend, 4-3, at 6:11. The IceRays pressed and had two power plays to come back but just couldn’t find the equalizer. With the IceRays net empty, Bulls forward Jacob Nitsche tapped the puck into the yawning goal mouth at 18:53 to seal the victory, 5-3.

Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (10-25-4) earned the win, stopping 37 of 40 shots, and IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (9-9-2) picks up the loss, turning away 36 of 40 shots. The IceRays kick off a pivotal two-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:11 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or the IceRays Front Office.

Nominate the American Bank Center to help make Corpus Christi the next Kraft Hockeyville! Submit your essay and tell your story at KraftHockeyville.com. Contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK or go to www.goicerays.com for details on season tickets along with pricing and seating. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).