AMARILLO, TX – Dan McDougall assisted on four Amarillo tallies as the Bulls defeated the Corpus Christi IceRays, 7-3, at the Cal Farley Coliseum on Friday night. With the win Amarillo is now in second place in the South division with a record of 30-11-4 (64 points) while Corpus Christi is winless in their last seven games and sees their record fall to 17-28-3 (37 points).
Terry Portra ended a 21-game goalless drought with a second period tally while Beau Walker and Michael Benedict each had two-point efforts in the loss.
Corpus Christi was the beneficiary of an early double minor penalty for checking from behind called against the Bulls’ Brooks Behling which resulted in his ejection and they capitalized. At the 6:35 mark, Walker entered the attacking zone, centered the puck to the top of the crease, and after a scramble involving Benedict and Josh Obregon, Obregon (9) poked a gritty goal past Nikifor Szczerba to put Corpus Christi on top, 1-0. It was the first power-play goal for the IceRays in their last 13 efforts over the last four games. Amarillo equalized 38 seconds later, 1-1, 7:18 into the period, when a two-on-one rush was finished on the backhand by Eric Millisor (1). Teams skated into the locker rooms deadlocked at one apiece. Shots were 13-11 in favor of Amarillo.
Two separate fights highlighted the early portion of the second period as both teams picked up their physical play. First, Jake Diamond squared off at the 2:35 mark with Zane Popilock at center-ice. Then, Amarillo newcomer Eric Millisor challenged Chance Creger in front of the IceRays’ bench, 7:15 into the period. The fights ignited the Amarillo offense as they rattled off the next three goals to jump ahead, 4-1. Matt Johnson (19, 10:57), Joe Kozlak (15; 13:08), and Michael Erickson (9; 15:06) each tallied in the second period to extend the Bulls’ advantage to three. Corpus Christi took advantage of Szczerba falling down behind his net with Portra (2) sending the puck into the empty-net, 43 seconds after the last Bulls’ goal, to cut the lead to 4-2. Amarillo outshot Corpus Christi, 11-9.
Amarillo scored the first two goals of the third period to take their lead to 6-2. Dan Sherer (12) tallied on the power play at the 2:39 mark while Sean Keane (16) potted 9:45 into the period to put the game out of reach. Jordan Miller dropped the mitts with Millisor which resulted in Millisor picking up two game misconducts; one for his equipment coming off and one for fighting twice in one game. Walker (18) chipped the lead to 6-3 at 13:53 of the period after he was left all alone on the backdoor. Benedict collected his second assist of the game. T.J. Sarcona (6) made the final score 7-3 when his slap shot from the right-wing circle went into the top portion of the net with 50 seconds remaining in regulation. Amarillo outshot Corpus Christi, 41-28. The IceRays went 1-4 on the power play while the Bulls were 1-3.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
- Dan McDougall (0-4-4)
- Dan Sherer (1-2-3)
- Joe Kozlak (1-1-2)
The IceRays play their second of four straight games against the Bulls on Saturday February 26th in Amarillo at 7:00 PM. Fans can catch the pre-game show on the flagship home of the IceRays, News/Talk 1440 KEYS, www.1440KEYS.com, with the voice of the IceRays, Ryan Holt, beginning at 6:45 PM. The game will be available online through the league’s pay-per-view website, www.fasthockey.com. For more information call the Rays’ front office at 361.814.PUCK (7825) or crash the net at www.goicerays.com.
“THE NEW ICERAYS…TOMORROW’S STARS”