ICERAYS OPEN AT HOME WITH THIRD-STRAIGHT SHUTOUT OF ODESSA

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Cal Sandquist stopped all 37 shots faced Thursday as the Corpus Christi IceRays defeated the Odessa Jackalopes, 2-0, in the IceRays’ Home Opener at American Bank Center. Erik Bargholtz notched both goals for Corpus Christi. Including last weekend’s three-game road sweep, the IceRays (7-2-1-2, 17 pts.) have limited the Jackalopes (3-3-1-1, 8 pts.) to one total goal over the course of four games.

Sandquist and his IceRays goaltending partner, Jeremy Forman, have combined to keep the Jackalopes off the board for the past 217 minutes and 52 seconds of game action (plus all three rounds of a shootout last Saturday). The IceRays and Jackalopes meet again in Corpus Christi on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:05 PM.

Corpus Christi went 10-for-10 on the penalty kill, including a wild, 6-on-3 sequence in the game’s final minutes with two players in the penalty box and Odessa pulling its goaltender, Aaron Randazzo, in favor of an extra attacker. Sandquist was sensational, and IceRays players also came up with numerous shot blocks to help keep the Jackalopes from finding the back of the net.

Bargholtz opened the scoring at the 3:56 mark of the second period, skating in on the left wing and firing a blocker-side shot for his first goal as an IceRay. Less than 15 minutes later, Kyle Schroeder picked up his second assist of the night, forcing a turnover to set up another Bargholtz goal from the left circle.

Odessa fired 20 shots in the third period but still couldn’t solve Sandquist. Sawyer Cutler was whistled for a high-sticking double minor with less than four minutes left, the Jackalopes pulled Randazzo with a few minutes remaining, and Cameron Knowlton joined Cutler in the box on a slashing minor with 1:36 to play. The Jackalopes pressured 6-on-3 but Sandquist kept Odessa off the board to pick up his second shutout of the season.

The IceRays have limited their opponents to one goal or less in eight of their last nine games, including five in a row.

Corpus Christi and Odessa continue their stretch of six games in nine nights against each other with rematches Friday and Saturday nights at 7:05 PM at American Bank Center. The first 500 fans at Friday’s game receive an IceRays pint glass courtesy of Brewster Street Ice House. Tickets are on sale now at the American Bank Center box office and ticketmaster.com. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 361-814-PUCK (7825). Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays) and goicerays.com.