CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Corpus Christi erased a two goal deficit in the third period and Ben Myers stopped 42 shots as the IceRays completed a comeback win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats with a shootout 5-4 on Saturday night in front of 4,453 fans inside the American Bank Center.
Wichita Falls capitalized on a lucky bounce to take a 1-0 lead as the puck deflected off the side of the net that right to an awaiting Eliot Grauer who put the Wildcats up 1-0 just 1:29 into the game with his 21st goal of the year.
The IceRays tied the game as Rudy Sulmonte buried his 22nd goal of the year assisted by Ryan Chiasson and Brandon Smith at 5:25 of the opening period.
The IceRays couldn’t bury the puck on a scramble in front of Wildcat goalie Evan Cowley so Chris Knudson picked up the loose puck and took it down ice finding a hole in Ben Myers to put the Cats’ up 2-1, unassisted at 7:05 of the first.
After no scoring in the second period, Sami Salminen put the Cats’ up two goals off of a wrister on the power-play just 20 seconds into the final stanza making it 3-1.
Brandon Smith started the comeback at 10:17 of the third with a short-handed unassisted goal knocking the puck out of the air and going on a breakaway beating Evan Cowley top shelf pulling the IceRays within a goal 3-2.
Corpus Christi tied the game 3-3 at 12:55 of the third after Beau Walker missed an opportunity the puck went to Eric Purcell who beat a diving Cowley for his 12th of the year.
The IceRays kept the pressure on and with five minutes to go in the game took their first lead of the weekend 4-3. Joe Ginley fired the puck from behind the net banking it off the back of Evan Cowley and into the net assisted by Walker and Andrew Paras.
Wichita Falls did not give up and tied the game with just 58 seconds left in regulation off the stick of Ben Kucera forcing overtime and eventually a shootout.
In the shootout both Eric Purcell and Brandon Smith went upstairs on Evan Cowley while Emil Romig picked up the winner in round four and Corpus Christi earned the extra point.
The IceRays now lead by two points over Wichita Falls with eight games remaining and Ben Myers stopped 42 shots in the win.
The IceRays are on the road this Thursday and Friday night as they take on the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Puck drops at 7:30PM, coverage begins at 7:15PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on 91.1FM KSGR, ustream.com, ksgr.org, and fasthockey.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 the team’s Youtube channel ICERAYS TV (@goicerays)
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