CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Corpus Christi IceRays battled to a 4-3 win Friday over the Shreveport Mudbugs on Heart Night at the American Bank Center. Nicholas Seitz and Santeri Hartikainen each recorded a goal and an assist, Jake Stella notched the game-winning tally and goaltender Brian George made 28 saves.
The IceRays wore special red, heart-themed jerseys, which were auctioned off following the game to raise money for the American Heart Association. The game was presented by AutoNation and Cable ONE.
Each team scored on their first shot of the game, as Shreveport’s Warren Natyshak recorded a breakaway goal 49 seconds into the game, but Nicholas Seitz responded with a goal from the top of the zone just 39 seconds later.
The IceRays went into the dressing room with a 3-1 lead at the first intermission thanks to Nikita Krivokrasov’s tip of a Seitz shot on the power play at 8:36, as well as a 4-on-4 goal from Hartikainen at 13:54. With his 19th goal of the season, Hartikainen tied Blake Bennett for the IceRays’ team lead.
Stella picked up the eventual game-winning goal at 2:57 of the second period off a feed from Anthony Firriolo. However, the Mudbugs responded 31 seconds later with Tim Clifton’s second goal of the weekend.
Ryan Dickinson brought the Mudbugs back within a goal by jamming in a rebound 2:07 into the third period. Shreveport pulled netminder Leo Chuard in the game’s final 1:13 but couldn’t beat George to tie the game.
The IceRays (24-24-1-0, 49 pts.) returned to the .500 mark after splitting the weekend set with the Mudbugs (24-18-3-5, 56 pts.) and improved their lead for the fourth-and-final playoff spot over next weekend’s opponents, the Topeka Pilots (18-23-2-5, 43 pts.).
Next up for the IceRays is the team’s lone trip of the season to the Sunflower State for a March 8-9 weekend set against the Topeka Pilots. Puck drop both nights inside Landon Arena at the Kansas Expocentre is set for 7:05 PM CT. IceRays games are 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 to faceoff. For more information, visit goicerays.com/broadcast.
Four regular season home games remain for the IceRays, including March 15-16 against the Lone Star Brahmas. Single game tickets, group tickets and suites for the remainder of the 2018-19 IceRays season are on sale now. Visit goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK (7825) for tickets or more information. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays).