CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Seth Blair scored his first North American Hockey League (NAHL) goal and the IceRays scored on the power play for the fifth consecutive game, but it was not enough as the Texas Tornado won their fourth game in a row over the IceRays, 5-1, at the American Bank Center on Thursday night. With the win, Texas is now 31-15-7 (69 points) while the IceRays lose their third in a row and fall to 18-31-3 (39 points).
Sam Cheraso scored a knockout victory in a third period fight with Seth Johnson.
After a back-and-forth beginning to the opening 20 minutes, Texas received a penalty shot opportunity when Justin Jones was hooked from behind by Colton Saucerman. Jones beat Pheonix Copley on the ensuing penalty shot, but rang his shot off the post and Copley stopped his sixth of seven penalty-shot chances this season. It was the second time this season that Jones had a penalty shot miss against Copley. Texas would tally the lone goal of the period though at the 16:03 mark of the frame on the power play when Jimmy Murray (2) deflected a Tyler Rostenkowski shot past Copley. The Tornado kept the 1-0 lead with them into the locker rooms. Shots were 15-8 in favor of Texas.
Texas extended their lead to 2-0, 12:08 into the second period, when Mico Solorzano (6) finished off a two-on-rush with Murray sliding a pass across the crease. However, Texas head coach Tony Curtale picked up two consecutive bench minors for unsportsmanlike conduct after the goal and the IceRays cashed in on the second chance. After a faceoff win, Mychal Monteith split the penalty-killing box with a hard pass that Seth Blair (1) deposited into the back of the net at the 14:40 mark to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. The score remained that way after two periods with Corpus Christi outshooting Texas 11-9 in the middle frame.
The Tornado stormed past Corpus Christi in the third period as three last period tallies finished off the IceRays. Freibergs (7; :48), Jones (3; 5:48), and Solorzarno (7; 11:50) each potted goals to cap the final score at 5-1. Corpus Christi won the lone fight of the game when Sam Cheraso took down Seth Johnson which resulted in both being ejected from the proceedings. Texas outshot Corpus Christi 40-27. The Tornado went 2-5 on the power play while Corpus Christi went 1-6.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
- Jimmy Murray (1-2-3)
- Mico Solorzarno (2-0-2)
- Seth Blair (FIRST NAHL GOAL)
The IceRays finish their four-game homestand on Friday, March 11th at 7:05 PM when they host the Texas Tornado at the American Bank Center on Boy Scouts Night. Fans can catch the pre-game show on the flagship home of the IceRays, News/Talk 1440 KEYS, www.1440KEYS.com, with the voice of the IceRays, Ryan Holt, beginning at 6:50 PM. The game will be available online through the league’s pay-per-view website, www.fasthockey.com. For more information call the Rays’ front office at 361.814.PUCK (7825) or crash the net at www.goicerays.com.
“THE NEW ICERAYS…TOMORROW’S STARS”