WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Corpus Christi IceRays attempted several comebacks on the night, but two power-play goals in the third period by Colin Staub sealed a 5-2 victory for the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Friday night in front of 1,164 fans at Kay Yeager Coliseum.
It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to get on the board at home. Just 49 seconds into the game, Kyle Bauman worked the puck down the left wing wall and fired a shot that was stopped by IceRays goaltender Ben Myers. The rebounded sat in the top of the crease and nobody defensively cleared the puck out until Kirk Van Arkel finally got his stick on it for his first goal of the year and Wichita Falls led 1-0 early. That was the only scoring in the period as the ‘Cats led 1-0 and put ten shots on net, while the ‘Rays only had eight shots.
In the second period, Corpus Christi fell behind 2-0 on a delayed penalty. Jake Townsend came on the ice as the extra attacker and fired a shot on net that went off of Nick Monfils and underneath Ben Myers. Monfils was injured on the played but returned shortly after. The goal came 2:56 into the second frame and was assisted by Josh Haverstrom.
Monfils returned and got the IceRays on the board after an excellent chance by Wes Michaud. After Michaud was denied on a great chance, the puck came right back out to the slot and onto the stick of Nick Monfils. He let a quick wrister go that David Zevnik pinched in his arm, however the puck tricked out and just over the goal line at 5:49 of the second period. The unassisted goal split the Wichita Falls lead in half 2-1.
Wichita Falls answered at 16:14 of the second period as Ben Kucera picked up the puck and went down the left wing wall with an odd man rush. Inside the left wing circle, Kucera let a wrister go that beat Myers in net to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead. Assists were credited to Nick Farmer and Will Vosejpka.
In the third period of play, Corpus Christi once again pulled to within a single goal of tying the game and this one came just 40 seconds after the puck drop. After killing a penalty, Caleb O’Brien came out of the box and joined Martin Hojbjerg on a two on one opportunity. Hojbjerg picked out the opposite corner firing the puck over the right shoulder of Wildcat goalie David Zevnik for his 8th on the year making it 3-2 in favor of Wichita Falls.
A pair of power-play goals by Colin Staub sealed the win for the Wildcats in the final period. The first Staub goal on the man advantage came at 11:14 of the third as Ben Myers made the original save, the rebound came right to Staub who buried the puck by Myers to regain the two goal lead with the home squad. His second power-play goal went in at 17:34 to make it 5-2. Staub went down the left wing side of the ice and snuck the puck through the arm of Myers on the short side shot with assists to Ben Kucera and Tyler Ledford.
Ben Myers stopped 31 of 36 shots in the loss that ended a two game winning streak.
The IceRays and Wichita Falls Wildcats finish out the two game series tomorrow night inside Kay Yeager Coliseum. Puck drops at 7:05PM, coverage begins at 6:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on 91.1FM KSGR, ksgr.org, “Listen Live” on the IceRays website, and fasthockey.com.
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