NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – The Corpus Christi IceRays battled to tie Friday’s game three times but were unable to find a fourth as the Lone Star Brahmas picked up their seventh-straight win in a 6-5 final at NYTEX Sports Centre.
The IceRays rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, 3-3, again at 4-4, and 5-5, before Lone Star’s Evan Googins notched a controversial game-winning goal with just 3:14 remaining.
IceRays forward Stephen Kyrkostas led the way offensively with a career-high three-point night (1+2).
The Brahmas scored three times in the first period. Sam Brennan scored from the left wing at 4:49, Stefan Miklakos struck on a breakaway at 11:21 and Joey Baez recorded a stick-side goal off a one-timer at 12:50.
Corpus Christi responded with three goals of its own in a 5:15 span in the second period. Erik Bargholtz and Kyrkostas scored power-play goals at 4:31 and 7:57, then Aaron Hamel picked up his first goal as an IceRay at 9:46.
Thomas Daskas regained the lead for the Brahmas with 1:35 left in the second period.
In his IceRays debut, Ethan Benz tied the game on a breakaway 4:11 into the third period. The seesaw battle then saw Lone Star’s Andrew DeCarlo score at 10:02, before Hamel picked up his second goal of the night at 12:22.
Googins’ game-winning goal was jammed in on a rebound from the top of the crease after the goal light had been turned on and off from a prior shot that failed to cross the goal line. After the officials met, Lone Star was awarded the go-ahead goal.
Lone Star led in shots, 27-19. The IceRays went 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The game marked the first of four in a row between the IceRays and Brahmas. The two teams rematch Saturday in North Richland Hills (7:30 p.m. CT) before facing off next Friday and Saturday in Corpus Christi (7:05 p.m. CT).
IceRays games, home and away, can be heard live on Sports Radio Corpus Christi 1230 AM-95.1 FM-96.1 FM (KSIX-AM/FM) and mixlr.com/icerays, and can be viewed on HockeyTV (HD iPPV). IceRays tickets are on sale at the American Bank Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information on the IceRays, or to purchase tickets, visit goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK (7825). Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays).