BLAINE, Minn. – Led by a sensational, 25-save effort by netminder Sam Best, including a windmill, highlight-reel save late in the game, the Corpus Christi IceRays defeated the Aberdeen Wings 3-2 Saturday morning at Schwan Super Rink. Noah Roofe, Mason Kohn and Santeri Hartikainen each scored for Corpus Christi.
The IceRays (2-4-0, 4 pts.) finished with a 2-2 split in their four-games-in-four-days stretch at the 2018 NAHL Showcase. Corpus Christi fired a season-high 45 shots on goal.
Thomas Rocco opened the game’s scoring for the Wings with a blocker-side shot at the 6:37 mark of the first period, but the lead did not last long. 32 seconds later, Roofe tied the game, firing a shot from the left circle. The goal was assisted by Bud Winter and Brady Bjork.
Corpus Christi gained its first lead of the game nearly three minutes into the second period when Mason Kohn tipped a Jordan Randall feed through the five hole of Wings goaltender Matt Vernon. After killing off multiple 5-on-3 penalty situations, the IceRays scored on a two-man advantage of their own when Hartikainen jammed in a Kyle Moore rebound at 13:18. Blake Bennett recorded the secondary assist.
Aberdeen got back within a goal in the third period when Rocco scored his second of the morning at 1:21. The Wings continued to pressure but Best continued to slam the door shut. With under six minutes remaining, Best recorded a save-of-the-year candidate, spinning his body with a no look, left-arm save on Aberdeen’s Joe Strada.
The IceRays now head home to Corpus Christi for the Home Opener on Friday, Sept. 28 against the defending Robertson Cup Champions, the Shreveport Mudbugs, starting a season-long 13-game homestand at American Bank Center. Season seat memberships, group tickets and single game tickets for the 2018-19 IceRays season are on sale now. Call 361-814-PUCK for tickets or more information.
All IceRays games are carried on Sportsradio Corpus Christi (1230 AM/95.1 FM/96.1 FM/TuneIn app) and HockeyTV. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays).