ODESSA, Texas – The Corpus Christi IceRays skated to a 7-5 win over the Odessa Jackalopes Saturday night at Ector County Coliseum, sweeping a five-game series against the Jackalopes over the past nine nights including three nights in a row at Odessa. Jake Stella recorded the IceRays’ third hat trick of the series, plus an assist, as Corpus Christi (15-11-1-0, 31 pts.) moved into a tie for third place in the South Division.
The IceRays have won a season-high six games in a row and seven of their last eight. Corpus Christi has scored at least five goals in all six games this season against Odessa.
Anthony Firriolo registered three points (1+2), Brian Kramer picked up a pair of assists and Jackson Nauss scored his first goal with the IceRays. Santeri Hartikainen notched an assist to extend his point streak to eight games.
Blake Bennett dished the puck to Nikita Krivokrasov, who scored the game’s opening goal at 2:46 of the first period. Later in the period, Jackalopes forward Vaclav Zidek scored on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game and trigger Odessa’s Teddy Bear Toss.
Jared Christy gave the Jackalopes a 2-1 lead 6:51 into the second period, but the IceRays exploded for the game’s next five goals, including four in the second period. Mitch Machlitt cashed in on a pretty feed from Brian Kramer for a power-play goal at 9:59, and Nauss’ goal was sandwiched between two tallies from Stella, as the IceRays brought a 5-2 lead into the second intermission.
Stella completed the hat trick with a backhand shot at 5:08 of the third period. Matt Hutton and James Crossman scored for Odessa to get the home team back within a pair. Firriolo fired a top-shelf snipe at 15:06, marking the IceRays’ seventh goal of the contest. Connor Smith scored at 17:57 to bring the Jackalopes back within a pair, and Odessa pulled relief netminder Kade Phipps for an extra attacker, but Corpus Christi held on for the two-goal victory.
The IceRays are now 6-0-0-0 against Odessa this 2018-2019 season with a pair of games left in February at American Bank Center. Sam Best made 34 saves in the win. The Jackalopes outshot the IceRays 39-30.
The IceRays continue their season-long, 10-game road trip next weekend with Dec. 21-22 games at the Lone Star Brahmas. Both games are set for 7:30 PM CT and will be carried exclusively on HockeyTV. Corpus Christi’s next home game at American Bank Center is Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 against the Shreveport Mudbugs at 7:05 PM CT.
Single game tickets, 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 (7825) for tickets or more information. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays).