SHREVEPORT, La. – Kyle Moore (2+0), Santeri Hartikainen (1+1) and Blake Bennett (0+2) each recorded two-point nights as the Corpus Christi IceRays (18-11-1-0, 37 pts.) picked up a ninth-consecutive victory in a 5-2 defeat of the Shreveport Mudbugs (15-13-1-4, 35 pts.) at George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. With the win, the IceRays took sole possession of second place in the NAHL South Division.
Hartikainen has now registered at least one point in 11 consecutive games. Sam Best, the reigning NAHL South Division Star of the Week, recorded 27 saves. Corpus Christi outshot Shreveport by a 38-29 margin. The IceRays have not lost a game since Nov. 23.
Moore opened the scoring just 3:03 into the first period by jamming in a trickling puck after a Tyler Love shot.
C.J. McGee tied the game for the Mudbugs at the 18:53 mark with a blocker-side rebound.
Hartikainen registered a power-play goal at 15:30 of the second period, then Anthony Firriolo scored off a faceoff win to put the IceRays up by a pair at the second intermission.
In the opening minute of the third period, C.J. Regula scored a 4-on-4 goal to bring the Mudbugs back within a goal. The IceRays responded with a great passing sequence from Jack Sampson to Bennett to Moore, who picked up his second goal of the night at 2:33.
The game heated up late, including both Shreveport coaches being ejected from the game. In the closing seconds of the game, the IceRays found themselves on a 5-on-3 power play, and made a statement by pulling Best to make it 6-on-3. Matt Minerva’s faceoff win was cashed in by a quick shot from Mitch Machlitt, who recorded Corpus Christi’s third power-play tally of the night.
The two teams rematch Saturday night in Shreveport in the final game of the calendar year. Faceoff is set for 7:11 PM CT and will be carried on Sportsradio Corpus Christi (1230 AM/95.1 FM/96.1 FM), HockeyTV and Mixlr. For more information, visit goicerays.com/broadcast. Corpus Christi’s next home game at American Bank Center is Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 against the 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).