ODESSA, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (5-10-2) came back in the third period but could not complete the comeback, falling 5-3 to the Odessa Jackalopes (8-5-1) on Friday night from the Ector County Coliseum.
Despite the chances on the power play, the IceRays couldn’t get the offensive going but Odessa found success on the road side’s man-advantage. With a player in the box, Jackalopes forward Oliver Celec found forward Derek Brown wide open on the right side to one-time home the game’s first goal at 8:38 for his first shorthanded goal of the season.
Early in the second period, a turnover worked in the IceRays’ favor with forward Brad Power taking the puck away in the offensive end and batting in his second of the year at 5:26 to tie the game, 1-1. However, two power play chances for Odessa resulted in two more goals. The first came at 8:39 when, after the IceRays stopped down the initial chance, forward Brandon Tucker poked home a loose sliding puck in the crease to take back the lead, 2-1. Then, at 10:04, defenseman Andrew McLean took a shot from the point that found a seam through a screen to double the lead, 3-1.
IceRays forward Nathan Bryer was key in the third period to starting a surge late. After holding off numerous defenseman, Bryer found forward Brad LeLievre for a one-time shot in the slot to draw within one, 3-2, at 11:04. The Jackalopes answered back on the power play for their third goal with the man-advantage, this time from an odd-angle shot by forward Oliver Celec at 15:52 to make it a 4-2 Odessa lead. Bryer once again found a teammate to come back within one, and defenseman Michael Bevilacqua ended his nine-game scoreless streak at 17:42 to make it 4-3. With the netminder pulled, Jackalopes defenseman Cooper Zech sealed the win with an empty-net goal at 19:27 and finish the score, 5-3.
Jackalopes goaltender Dean Shatzer (3-4-1) recorded the win, stopping 24 of 27 shots, while IceRays netminder Dryden McKay (3-5-1) grabbed the loss, saving 23 of 27 shots. The IceRays finish off their first weekend series against the Odessa Jackalopes on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7:05 p.m. from the Ector County Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) & FASTHockey.com.
The IceRays come 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. 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).