CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (19-22-6) pushed back to force overtime but ultimately fell 3-2 to the Odessa Jackalopes (20-21-4) on Friday night at the American Bank Center.
After an initial control of the opening period by the Jackalopes, the IceRays evened out with chances coming for either side and a few big saves by each team’s netminder. However, the Jackalopes broke through first in the first. At 18:31, Odessa forward Derek Brown found forward Hampus Sjodahl open in the mid-slot and ripped home the game’s first goal, giving the road side a 1-0 lead late in the period.
Right on a faceoff draw, the IceRays struck back racing from their own end. Forward Brendan Miller pushed ahead for a breakaway, beating the netminder with a backhanded shot at 5:54 to single-handedly tie the game, 1-1. After this, the game became much more physical. Two Jackalopes were assessed misconducts for dangerous hits on IceRays players, both against defensemen. Despite those advantages, the IceRays put themselves into a hole with four penalties of their own and one of them conceding the second Odessa goal. At 13:37, defenseman Daniel Kiraly tapped in a chance from the left circle coming off a different chance to take back the lead, 2-1.
With a 5-on-3 power play to start the third period, the IceRays found the answer they needed to draw even again. Forward Regen Cavanagh cut through the defense and beat by the netminder at 0:35 to knot the game again, 2-2. Both sides battled for the rest of the third frame and eventually settled the game in overtime. Just 17 seconds in, Brown snuck it underneath the IceRays netminder to seal the 3-2 victory and the full two points.
Jackalopes netminder Jon Flakne (12-7-2) turned aside 36 of 38 shots in the win, while IceRays goaltender Graham Hunt (10-13-4) turned away 33 of 36 shots in the overtime loss. The IceRays close out the month against the Odessa Jackalopes on Saturday, Feb. 27 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.
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