FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs scored five times in the third period, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Corpus Christi IceRays, 6-3, Saturday night at Big Dipper Ice Arena. The loss marked the first time the IceRays (21-21-1-0, 43 pts.) have lost this season when leading at either intermission.
Jack Johnston led the Ice Dogs (22-14-3-2, 49 pts.) with a three-point effort (1+2). IceRays netminder Samuel Vyletelka recorded 48 saves in the loss, as Corpus Christi was outshot by a 54-30 margin.
Blake Bennett opened the scoring with his IceRays-leading 18th goal of the season 4:39 into the first period, poking a backhand shot through the five-hole of Ice Dogs goaltender Nate Reid. Later in the period, Jack Smiley drove down the ice, steering himself in front and firing a stick-side shot into the net to put the IceRays up 2-0 at the first intermission.
John Stampohar got the Ice Dogs on the board with a backdoor tip on the power play at 13:31 of the second period.
Fairbanks tied the game 2:59 into the third period when Luke Mobley cashed in on a rebound of Matt Koethe’s shot.
Jake Stella regained the lead for the IceRays at 7:08, sending a backhand shot past Reid’s glove. But just 32 seconds later, Grant Ledford tied the game with a shot into the upper corner. Johnston then gave Fairbanks its first lead of the weekend, scoring on an odd-man rush at 9:19. Parker Brown fired a shot into the top corner at 11:12, then Ledford added an empty netter with just over a minute remaining as the Ice Dogs skated to a three-goal win.
Prior to Saturday’s loss, the Ice Rays were 10-0-0-0 when leading at the first intermission, and 14-0-0-0 when leading at the second intermission.
Next weekend, the IceRays complete their Alaska trip with a two-game visit to the Kenai River Brown Bears at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Puck drop on Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9 is set for 7:30 Alaska Time (10:30 PM Central). The game broadcasts will be carried live on Sportsradio Corpus Christi (1230 AM/95.1 FM/96.1 FM), HockeyTV and Mixlr with the pre-game show starting 15 minutes prior.
Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays). Tickets are on sale now for the IceRays’ final eight home games of the 2018-19 regular season. Visit goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK (7825) for tickets or more information.