AMARILLO, Texas – Twice down by three goals, the Corpus Christi IceRays rallied Friday night to win Game 1 of the South Division Semi-Finals, 6-5, against the Amarillo Bulls inside the Budweiser Bull Pen at Amarillo Civic Center. Che Landikusic recorded two third-period goals, including giving the IceRays their only lead of the night with just 2:21 remaining.
Blake Bennett, Kyle Moore and Mitch Walinski each recorded one goal and one assist. Goaltender Brian George stopped 26 of 28 shots in a relief victory. The IceRays scored on three of their four total shots on goal in the third period.
Amarillo grabbed an early 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals by Gabriel Seger (1:18, 12:39), plus a Jake Willets power-play goal sandwiched between (4:35). The IceRays added a power-play goal of their own at 15:03 when Mitch Walinski scored seven seconds into Corpus Christi’s first man advantage of the contest.
The Bulls went back up by three at 10:32 of the second period when Seger completed a hat-trick effort with a power-play goal bounced through the five hole. But Corpus Christi responded just over a minute later, as Blake Bennett scored on Kyle Moore’s rebound at 11:43, then Bennett set up Moore for a goal of his own at 16:43.
Landikusic tied the game, 4-4, just 36 seconds into the third period, roofing a shot over Amarillo netminder Jason Grande’s glove. Ryan Lautenbach regained the lead for the Bulls at 5:03, but Austin Koss brought the game back to a tie score at 10:19.
The game-winning tally came on a give-and-go-and-give-again drive down the ice by Landikusic and Walinski. From just below the right circle, Landikusic fired a shot past Grande’s glove to complete the comeback.
Amarillo outshot Corpus Christi by a 42-31 margin.
The IceRays will host a Game 2 watch party presented by Domino’s Saturday at Sing Bar Karaoke Lounge (formerly Players Lounge + Bar) at 7114 Saratoga Blvd. During the Game 2 watch party, free pizza will be provided by Domino’s and IceRays season membership holders can pick up their playoff tickets.
All tickets for the playoff home games are just $10 each courtesy of AutoNation. Tickets are on sale now through all Ticketmaster outlets and the American Bank Center box office. A select number of complimentary ticket vouchers are available to fans at all AutoNation locations within the Corpus Christi area. Visit goicerays.com/playoffhub for a full list of locations or more information.
All playoff games, home and away, can be heard live on Sportsradio Corpus Christi (1230 AM – 95.1 FM – 96.1 FM) and mixlr.com/icerays, as well as viewed in HD on HockeyTV (iPPV).