CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (17-18-4) couldn’t erase their three-goal deficit, falling 3-2 to the Amarillo Bulls (8-27-4) on Sunday afternoon at the American Bank Center. The IceRays close out January with a 5-4-1 record and are now 11-5-1 over their last two months.
The IceRays created numerous chances in the early stages of the game but could not find a way to capitalize. Instead, the Bulls struck first at 15:06 of the first period when defenseman Tyler Hall floated a shot that found its way through traffic and into the top of the net to give Amarillo the 1-0 lead. A five-minute major penalty called against IceRays forward Drake Lindsay created the opportunity for the Bulls to spread the lead and did just that. At 17:49, forward Mykyta Sheptytsky redirected a shot coming from Hall for his first goal of the year and to double the lead, 2-0.
After killing off the rest of the penalty, the IceRays again found the misfortune of contact on a Bulls shot. At 8:26 of the second period, forward Joey Molinaro took a shot that hit an IceRays defenseman and slipped into the net to gain a 3-0 lead for Amarillo. Less than two minutes later, the IceRays found an answer. At 10:21, forward Brad LeLievre found forward Mason Krueger wide open in the slot, and he notched his side’s first goal coming on the power play to make it 3-1.
A quick bump off the boards in the third period led to the second-straight IceRays goal. Forward Stevie Bryant created a turnover in the neutral zone then held the puck enough in the right circle to create an opening on the far side of the net to slot his second of the year and to draw the IceRays within one, 3-2. Despite pulling the netminder for an extra attacker and a desperation push in the final seconds, the IceRays came up short in a 3-2 loss.
Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (9-22-4) picked up the win, stopping 33 of 35 shots, and IceRays goaltender Graham Hunt (10-11-3) grabbed the loss, turning aside 35 of 38 shots. The IceRays head on the road for a two-game weekend set against the Lone Star Brahmas starting on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. from the NYTEX SportsCentre. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and FASTHockey.com.
The IceRays continue their home schedule at the American Bank Center on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7:11 p.m. for the first of three games against the Lone Star Brahmas. 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).