ODESSA, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (5-10-3) pushed the Odessa Jackalopes (9-5-1) into a shootout with a strong effort from Graham Hunt but fell 3-2 (1-0 shootout) on Saturday night from the Ector County Coliseum.
The IceRays pressured early and struck first just 8:59 into the first to take a 1-0 lead when forward Drake Lindsay batted in a rebound off the back boards started by forward Tobias Kircher. Continuing the aggression, IceRays defenseman Trevor Heuser sparred with Jackalopes forward Oliver Celec just a few minutes later despite the IceRays playing on the penalty kill. However, the Jackalopes couldn’t be held off the scoreline, and for the second-straight night, they scored a short-handed goal, this time from forward Hampus Sjodahl at 13:26 to tie the game, 1-1.
Odessa pushed ahead, 2-1, at 8:27 of the second period when forward Zach Zech tapped in his sixth of the year. Though the IceRays trailed, the story of the period was netminder Graham Hunt. The IceRays allowed a junior franchise-high 28 shots in the frame, and Hunt set a record for 27 saves in the period. The shots against breaks the previous record of 27 set on Oct. 24, 2010 against the Texas Tornado.
Play evened out throughout the third period, but in desperation the IceRays pulled Hunt for the extra attacker, and the gamble paid off. Forward Brad Power found the game-tying goal at 18:39 to knot things up, 2-2. Both sides skated through the overtime scoreless and headed into the shootout. The Jackalopes capitalized in the second round with a lift from forward Derek Brown, and that’s all the Jackalopes needed, taking the game 3-2 and sweeping the IceRays for just the second time in junior franchise history. Jackalopes goaltender Gunnar Rivers (6-1-0) picked up the win, stopping 22 of 24 shots, while Hunt (2-5-2) had a valiant effort in a shootout loss, saving 48 of 50 shots.
The IceRays return home on Thursday, Nov. 19 to open the season series with the Lone Star Brahmas at 10:45 a.m. from the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or by calling 361-814-PUCK.
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).