Rocky Start Handcuffs Rays on Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, 12.03.17 / 5:44 pm CT
Photo: Bryan Williams

Hoping to sweep the Shreveport Mudbugs in their only Sunday home game of the 2017-18 season, the IceRays fell into penalty trouble and could not recover from a bumpy first period. Shreveport split the series with a 5-1 decision.

The Rays found themselves shorthanded twice in the first five minutes of the game. On the second penalty, Angus Scott was controversially called for hooking and the Mudbugs went to work on their power play.

Brendan Gysbers scored on a long screen shot for his second goal in as many games, putting the Bugs up 1-0 at 5:43. Zach Faremouth doubled Shreveport’s lead at 9:46, after a patient play was made by Brendan Van Sweden to set him up with a backdoor tap-in.

With just 34 seconds remaining in the first period, Jake Transit sent a shot on net from the right half wall. Jacob Acton mistimed the stick check and the puck snuck under his pads, giving the Mudbugs a commanding 3-0 advantage when the opening 20 came to an end.

Penalties began to pile up in the following period, with a total of 62 PIMS being handed out in the middle 20 minutes. Though the IceRays’ penalty kill was solid, Shreveport padded their lead in period two.

Transit was sprung on a breakaway by Derek Contessa in the neutral zone. Skating in uncontested, he faked to his backhand and tucked the puck past Acton’s right pad from the forehand. Transit’s second goal of the game gave the visitors a 4-0 lead.

Later on, Corpus Christi captain Brendan Miller would be ejected after getting into a tussle with Cameron Cook. Miller was charged with slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct, and left the game at 35:26.

Jayson Dimizio struck early in the closing stanza to instill some life into the American Bank Center. Matt Acciaioli took a long screen shot from the blue line on an IceRays power play, and Dimizio redirected the puck past James Durham to cut the Rays’ deficit to three.

Unfortunately, Corpus Christi’s newfound momentum was quickly stymied by Jordan Fader. Dominick Procopio flung the puck high in the air, it landed flat near the Corpus Christi blue line, and Fader galloped down the slot and backhanded a shot through Acton’s five-hole.

Fader’s goal proved to be the dagger, as the Rays could not recover after Shreveport’s fifth tally. Acton was charged with the defeat, making 26 of a possible 31 saves. Durham earned his seventh victory of the season, stopping 25 of the IceRays’ 26 shots on net. The IceRays will be in North Richland Hills on Friday to take on the Lone Star Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm CT. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and on SportsRadio Corpus Christi.