BLAINE, MINNESOTA – The Corpus Christi IceRays gave up three straight power-play goals in the first two periods, but stormed back in the final period scoring twice courtesy of Eric Purcell and Lucas Bennett. However, it wasn’t enough as the Coulee Region Chill held on for a 3-2 win inside the Schwan Super Rinks on Thursday night.
The Chill grabbed the lead late in the first period. After Westin Michaud went to the box for tripping Richard Zehnal fired a shot from the left point and beat IceRays goaltender Forbes Ploszaj low to take a 1-0 lead with just 1:37 left in the first period. The assists were credited to Adam Lovick and Mac Jansen.
The penalty-kill continued to hurt the IceRays in the second period as Richard Zehnal notched his second power-play strike of the game. Jake Zeleznikar fed Zehnal with a pass at the point who ripped a shot off the right post and into the net at 8:51 of the middle frame to give Coulee Region a 2-0 lead.
As Eric Purcell sat in the box for tripping, Jake Zeleznikar fed Adam Lovick at 16:25with a back-door pass for a tap-in goal as Forbes Ploszaj stood no chance to get to the shot in time and the Chill moved out to a 3-0 advantage.
In the final period, Corpus Christi mounted a comeback and it started on the man advantage as Eric Purcell buried a wrist shot by Coulee Region goaltender Adam Carlson at 2:18 of the third pulling the IceRays within two goals at a 3-1 deficit.
The comeback continued with only 4:16 left to go in the game as Lucas Bennett took a centering pass from behind the net and one-timed it by Carlson to pull the ‘Rays to within a goal.
With only a half-minute remaining, Coulee Region took a penalty while the IceRays pulled Forbes Ploszaj. However, the 6-on-4 power-play wasn’t enough as the Chill held on for a 3-2 victory.
Ploszaj stopped 22 of 25 in the loss.
The IceRays return to action at the NAHL Showcase tomorrow night at 5:00PM against the Minnesota Wilderness. Coverage begins at 4:45PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on SportsJuice.com, ustream.com, and fasthockey.com.
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