AMARILLO, Texas – Mitch Walinski recorded a hat trick as part of a four-point outing (3+1) to lead the Corpus Christi IceRays to a 4-3 comeback win against the Amarillo Bulls Sunday at the Budweiser Bull Pen. Walinski tied the game with 9:39 remaining, then Che Landikusic (1+2) registered the game-winning goal off a feed from Walinski with 3:36 left. Samuel Vyletelka made 39 saves.
With the win, the IceRays inched closer to a playoff berth. Corpus Christi (27-28-2-1, 57 pts.) hosts the Topeka Pilots (23-27-3-5, 54 pts.) in a pair of games next weekend to close the regular season, and the IceRays need just one point against the Pilots to secure a playoff spot. If the IceRays make the postseason, they would be the #4 seed in the South Division and face the #1 seed Bulls in the first round of the 2019 Robertson Cup Playoffs.
Walinski opened the scoring 3:29 into the game, cashing in on an end-wall feed from Landikusic. Brendan West tied the game for the Bulls with his fifth goal of the weekend at 9:06, but Walinski regained the lead for the IceRays with a shot from the slot at 13:31.
Logan Jenuwine scored a pair of goals in the second period (3:33, 9:00) to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead. Jenuwine hit the 100-point mark with his second tally, a power play goal, while also increasing his NAHL all-time single-season goal record to 58.
Walinski completed the hat trick midway through the third period with a shot from the right point to tie the game, 3-3. Landikusic then registered the game-winning tally just over six minutes later with the assists going to Walinski and Jake Stella (0+2).
The IceRays now return home to close the regular season April 5-6 against Topeka on “Pack the House for Charity” Fan Appreciation Weekend benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Corpus Christi, presented by AFGE, The Storage Place, 1st Class Towing, H-E-B, Tukasa Creations and Ruben’s Fleet Service. All tickets (best available) for Fan Appreciation Weekend are just $5 courtesy of Corpus Christi Downtown Management District. Puck drop both nights is at 7:05 PM.
Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays). Visit goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK (7825) for tickets or more information.