Rays Sink Bulls in Season’s First Matchup at the ABC

Friday, 01.12.18 / 10:12 pm CT

Hosting the Amarillo Bulls for the first time all season, the IceRays got off to a strong start and never looked back as they dropped the Bulls by a 4-1 final on Friday night.

With both teams having not faced one another since October and plenty of roster moves being made since then, the first period primarily consisted of both sides feeling one another out. However, the Rays caught the Bulls off-guard and took advantage late in the opening stanza.

At 18:11, CJ Regula drove hard to the net and fired a heavy wrist shot off of Trevor Micucci’s right pad. Dakota Concannon pounced on the rebound, and scored his first IceRays goal in just his second game to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.

After spending the first three games of January ineligible due to an NCAA technicality, Jungwirth made an immediate impact upon his highly anticipated return to the lineup. Early in the second period, he intercepted an Amarillo clearing attempt and brought it down the right wing, being hooked and harassed all the while. He outwaited Micucci and tapped the puck into the gaping net to double the Rays’ lead.

Just over four minutes later, only 22 seconds after the IceRays’ dropped their second power play of the game, the puck found Rylee St. Onge at the inner edge of the left circle on a broken play. Without hesitation, the surging St. Onge sniped the puck inside the right elbow of the net with a lightning-like release, extending his goal-scoring streak to an NAHL-leading six consecutive games. His goal ended Micucci’s night, and Jason Grande came aboard in relief.

Jake Acton had been perfect in net for the Rays throughout the first half of the contest, and was finally beaten at 31:24. Stephen Rex fired a shot from the lower hashmarks and forced a big rebound off Acton’s pads. Josh DeLuca backhanded the second shot through Acton’s five-hole, thereby ending his shutout bid and putting the Bulls on the board.

Despite heavily outshooting Corpus Christi in the third period, the Bulls could not solve Acton again. The IceRays’ net-minder made all 17 third period saves, and Jungwirth sealed Amarillo’s fate with an empty-net goal in the final 40 seconds.

Acton boasted a season-high .971 save percentage throughout the game, stopping 33 of the Bulls’ 34 shot attempts to earn his third victory of the season. Micucci denied 10 of 13 and was charged with his 10th regulation defeat, while Grande made a dozen saves in relief. The IceRays will attempt to sweep the Bulls tomorrow night at the American Bank Center on City/County Night presented by Citgo. All city and county employees—as well as their families—will be allowed free admission provided they bring their ticket vouchers to the box office. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT, and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and on YouTube.