CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (26-15-3-3) score a season-high seven goals including four in the third period to take a commanding 7-2 win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats (27-16-3-2) on Saturday night from the American Bank Center. The IceRays finish the home stand with a 6-0-2-0 record and points in all eight games.
A very physical first period set the stage for the rest of the game and the temperament of both sides in this five-game set. However, the IceRays found life early in the first period. IceRays forward Nathan Bryer won a faceoff draw at the right circle, and defenseman Cody Fleckenstein lofted a shot from the point that floated over the netminder at 2:10 to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Both teams traded physicality for scoring in the second period with a pair stretched for either side starting at 4:36 when IceRays forward Garrett Hallford tapped in a one-time shot from forward Brendan Miller on a 2-on-1 rush to double the lead, 2-0. The Wildcats came back with two-unanswered in the middle portion to knot the game up. At 7:30, Wildcats forward Jeff Skinner cleaned up a loose puck coming from behind the net to draw within one, then Wildcats forward Ryan Burnett tapped in his own one-time shot at 9:20 to tie the game, 2-2. Just after midway through the game, Miller created an offensive opportunity that IceRays forward Nathan Bryer finished at 10:32 to take back the lead at 3-2.
From there, the IceRays took control and finished the job with four goals in the third period. At 7:32, IceRays forward David Baskerville stabbed in a crossing feed inside the back post to double the lead, 4-2. IceRays forward Jayson DiMizio then parked himself in front of the net and re-directed a shot from defenseman Trevor Wilhelm at 10:11 to triple the lead at 5-2. At 14:22, IceRays forward David Thomson cashed in for one of his own after DiMizio fought to free the puck coming off a rebound to the low slot to take a 6-2 lead. Then, Bryer added is second of the night to cap off the scoring with a takeaway and wrist shot in the left circle for the 7-2 victory.
IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (15-11-3) earned the win, turning aside 28 of 30 shots, while Wildcats goaltender Jared Dempsey (13-6-1) picked up the loss, stopping 27 of 24 shots. The IceRays head back on the road to continue their five-game stretch against the Wildcats on Thursday, Mar. 9 at 7:05 p.m. from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) & Hockey TV.
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Wednesday, Mar. 15 for a single-game meeting with the Shreveport Mudbugs. Join the IceRays in their push for the 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs and pick up seats for the final games of the 2016-17 season by calling the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).