ODESSA, Texas – The Corpus Christi IceRays began a three-game road week with a 5-2 win against the Odessa Jackalopes at the Ector County Coliseum. Florian Mnich made 33 saves to record his first career NAHL victory. Blake Bennett scored twice for the IceRays (9-10-1-0, 19 pts.), including his fifth game-winning goal of the season. Aleksi Peltonen (1+1) and Kyle Moore (0+2) each also notched a pair of points in the win.
The IceRays passed the Jackalopes (8-10-0-1, 17 pts.) for sole possession of fifth place in the South Division.
Odessa grabbed the first goal of the game off a left-point shot from James Crossman at 1:01 of the first period. A few minutes later, the game was briefly delayed when Crossman was checked by Corpus Christi forward Santeri Hartikainen against the penalty box, shattering a pane of glass.
In the final minute of the first period, the IceRays tied the game on a quick rush down the ice by Moore and Peltonen. Moore skated down the right wing and fed the puck in front to Peltonen, who scored a shot on the blocker side at 19:13.
Corpus Christi grabbed the lead 7:13 into the second period when Matthew Headland recorded his first goal with the IceRays. Coltan Wilkie grabbed the lone assist.
The lead became 3-1 minutes later when Bennett fired in his first goal of the night—the eventual game winner. Bennett then improved the lead to 4-1 early in the third period when he raced down the ice, retrieved the puck and buried a wraparound shot at 2:33.
Odessa scored 16 seconds later when Vaclav Zidek found the back of the net.
At the 15:41 mark, the Jackalopes turned the puck over to Jake Stella, who buried a shot on the backhand to secure the three-goal win.
Corpus Christi outshot Odessa by a 38-35 margin. The two teams will continue their eight-game season series when they meet in five consecutive games to begin the month of December.
Before then, the IceRays wrap up November with two games this weekend at the Lone Star Brahmas. Faceoff both nights at the NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills, Texas, is set for 7:30 PM CT. Both game will be carried live on Sportsradio Corpus Christi and HockeyTV.
Single game tickets, season seat memberships, group tickets and suites for the remainder of the 2018-19 IceRays season are on sale now. Visit goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK for tickets or more information. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays).