CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The IceRays netminder and German Native, Florian Mnich, found himself in the lineup for the first time since he saw Leo Chuard of Shreveport between the pipes back on September 15th. Mnich is coming off injury reserve, after suffering a high ankle sprain before heading to the Showcase in Blaine, Minn.
Corpus Christi (4-7-1-0, 9 pts.) hit the ice tonight with a physical first period. Ben Ginsberg (D) hit the ice for IceRays in a different way, his first time this regular season to been seen on the lineup and was a force all period, with a huge hit early on. The Ice Dogs were in favor with the first goal of the night off of a lucky blind backhand by Ledford almost midway through the first.
Jake Stella stepped up big with his second goal of the season, with a powerful wrist shot from the right faceoff circle late in the first period. Stella answered by a quick pass by Cam Cervone, who joined the IceRays less than 72 hours ago and has been an excellent asset in both zones. Godfrey, who was named assistant captain prior to puck drop, answered with a swift breakaway with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first, a shot preventing block by Fairbanks sent him to center ice for the first penalty shot of the season.
Mnich had a huge second period between the pipes, saving 18 of 19 shots. Both teams remained scoreless in the second until late, with Fairbank’s Matt Koethe sniping a slot shot was just enough to get Mnich leaning the opposite way, giving him an unimpeded open netter with 3:03 remaining. Midway through the period, Captain Kyle Moore had a crowd-exciting hit into the boards, just short of the home bench. The IceRays finished off strong, but still trailed the Ice Dogs going into the third period, 2-1.
IceRays’ Captain, Kyle Moore started off the final period quickly with the second slot shot goal of the game, each team tallying one just four minutes shy of one another, Moore’s only 41 seconds into the third. Blake Bennett and Tyler Love were credited with the assist. Kyle Moore answered his fifth goal of the season with yet another crushing hit on the Ice Dogs into the boards. Mnich with an outrageous blinded drop feed block to end regulation. A huge third period for the IceRays that came to an end with a five-minute overtime, Anthony Firriolo was sent to the box on a slashing call with 48 seconds remaining in regulation, giving the Ice Dogs a 4-on-3 advantage for the first 1:12 of OT.
Overtime did not end in the favor of the home team for the final game of the weekend series against the Ice Dogs. IceRays defensemen and Army West Point commit, Anthony Firriolo, came out of the box with a quick regroup that resulted in a turnover, wherein he recovered to block a shot. The chest block sent Hartikainen and Peltonen on a rush against the Ice Dogs in the final moments of overtime. Once back with 3-on-3, Fairbank forward, Matt Koethe attempts a wild shot that was followed by a mid-air swat into the upper right hand corner by defensemen, Noah Wilson. Ending the game at 3-2, Ice Dogs.
Up next for the IceRays, who are chipping away at a season-long 13-game home stand, is the latter part of a two-part Alaskan teams tour match up. Finishing the weekend series against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, the IceRays head into next week preparing for the second part of the Alaskan tour, the Kenai River Brown Bears. Friday is the IceRays first annual ‘Pucks & Paws’, with Saturday hosting a ‘Navy Day’ practice jersey auction to benefit the USO of South Texas and the USS Lexington.
Single game tickets, season seat memberships, group tickets and suites for the 2018-19 IceRays season are now on sale. Visit goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK for tickets or more information.