NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-0-0) muscled to a 2-1 victory over the Lone Star Brahmas (2-1-0) on Tuesday night from the NYTEX SportsCentre. The IceRays claimed a win in their sole preseason matchup before opening the regular season this weekend.
Despite not playing in any game situations compared to the Brahmas, the IceRays came out of the gates looking poised and composed over the first period. Goaltender Graham Hunt showed strength in net by snaring a breakaway chance by Brahmas forward Peter Kessel toward the back end of the frame. The IceRays came back with a breakaway chance of their own, but the attempt by forward Andrew McGlynn was legged away by Brahmas netminder Conor O’Brien. The Brahmas did claim a 1-0 lead on the wings of a Alex Berardinelli goal at 17:01.
The IceRays came through in the second period with two answers to eventually grab the lead. At 6:27, forward Stevie Bryant was the benefactor of a swift development by defenseman Jonathan Hansson and Nathan Bryer with a tap-in knuckler by the left side of O’Brien to knot up the game, 1-1. After both sides swapped goaltenders, IceRays forward Carter Johnson poked the puck through the legs of goaltender Darion Hanson to push the road side ahead, 2-1, with the help of forwards Ryan Cusin and Drake Lindsay on a tic-tac-toe play.
Aggression picked up through the rest of the frame and into the third period with the climax being a rough hit along the IceRays’ bench on forward Adam Canepa that ignited a near line brawl involving numerous IceRays and Brahmas skaters midway through the third period. In spite of a late pull of the Brahmas’ goalie, the IceRays held on for the win.
IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (1-0-0) earned the win, helping to combine for 35 saves on 36 attempts with Hunt. Hanson picked up the loss, merging with O’Brien to stop down 16 of 18 shots. The IceRays open the 2015-16 regular season on Friday, September 18 at 7:05 p.m. against the Topeka RoadRunners at Landon Arena. Hear the action beginning with Countdown to Faceoff at 6:40 p.m. on the IceRays flagship station, SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM).
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