HIDALGO, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays allowed strong opportunities for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, who took advantage and defeated the IceRays 5-3 from State Farm Arena. This is their fourth-straight road weekend being swept and remain the only North American Hockey League (NAHL) team winless on the road at 0-6-4.
The IceRays did strike first in the contest after a scoreless first period. After Killer Bees defenseman Kevin Clare was called for slashing, IceRays forward Wes Michaud took a one-time shot coming from forward Ryan Cusin at the blue line to earn the first goal of the game and a 1-0 lead at 2:23 of the second period. Forward Joe Chitwood returned to the ice after his six-game suspension but was awarded a five-minute major penalty for charging and a game misconduct later in the second period. That proved costly for the IceRays, as Killer Bees forward Guy Roby swept around IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren to his left side to stuff home the equalizer, 1-1, at 6:43. Less than a minute later at 7:17, Killer Bees forward Anthony Croston also did the same, this time to the right of Lindgren for their second-straight power play goal and a 2-1 lead. Cusin would answer for the IceRays at 16:31 of the second period with a flip over Killer Bees netminder Ben Johansson to even the scoreline, 2-2.
Rio Grande Valley took advantage of offensive rushes in the third period, allowing them to jump out ahead. After checking IceRays defenseman Pierre Crinon into the boards, Killer Bees forward Dallas Gerads sliced into the offensive zone and lofted a shot at 5:12 to take the lead, 3-2. Just 27 seconds later, forward Stathis Soumelidis found a loose puck in the IceRays’ defensive end after a teammate was muscled off the puck and fed a shot through the legs of Lindgren to make it a two-goal lead, 4-2. With Lindgren pulled late in the third period, it was only a matter of time before forward Parker Wood scored an empty net goal at 17:40 to triple the lead, 5-2. IceRays defenseman Trevor Heuser would score at 19:48 of the third period, but the damage was done, and the Killer Bees walk away triumphant, 5-3.
Johansson (6-3-3) earns wins in consecutive games, stopping 18 of 21 shots against, while Lindgren (9-4-2) picks up the loss in a 18-save effort of the 22 shots faced.
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Wednesday, December 3 for one game against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees beginning at 7:05 p.m. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for season and individual ticket details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com. Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), and YouTube (IceRays TV).