CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Lone Star Brahmas scored the game’s final four goals Friday to defeat the Corpus Christi IceRays, 4-1, in an NAHL South Division showdown at American Bank Center.
Lone Star (27-19-3-4, 61 pts.) inched closer to clinching a berth into the 2019 Robertson Cup Playoffs. The IceRays (25-25-2-0, 52 pts.) will now try to pick up a sixth consecutive weekend split in Saturday night’s rematch on the Coastal Bend.
IceRays forward Mitch Walinski opened the scoring at 6:18 of the first period, connecting on a feed from Jake Stella to beat Lone Star netminder Seth Eisele.
The Brahmas responded, tying the game before the first intermission as Tim Henriksson sent a one-timer past IceRays goalie Brian George for a power play goal at 17:49.
Lone Star grabbed both goals of the second period. Matt Guerra slipped the eventual game-winning goal, a backhand shot through the five-hole at 11:55, then Nick Siffringer made a move to the slot and scored at 19:00, putting Lone Star up 3-1 at the second intermission.
The IceRays pulled George for an extra attacker with 3:22 remaining but Blake Evennou scored on the empty net with 25.1 seconds remaining to secure the three-goal win for the visitors.
Corpus Christi outshot Lone Star by a 32-25 margin. Following the Topeka Pilots’ 2-1 overtime win at Shreveport Friday, the Pilots now sit just five points back of the IceRays for the fourth-and-final playoff spot in the South Division. Each team has eight games left in the regular season.
The IceRays and Brahmas rematch Saturday, March 16 on CASA Night presented by Whataburger, KIII-TV and AEP Texas. A pre-game skate (1:00-4:00 PM; $12), warm-up jersey auction, silent auction and 50/50 raffle will benefit CASA of the Coastal Bend. 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. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays). 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.