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Bulls Edge Rays in Seesaw Matchup

Saturday, 01.13.18 / 10:03 pm CT
Photo: Chip Pitcairn

In a back-and-forth tilt on Saturday night, the Bulls eked out a 5-4 overtime win to stun the IceRays and the near 5,000 in attendance at the American Bank Center on City/County Night.

The IceRays did not manage to draw first blood for the second straight night, as Amarillo’s Jason Brancheau stole the puck in the left corner and wheeled up to the high slot, where he released a heavy wrist shot to beat Chad Veltri over the glove.

A checking-from-behind penalty called against Jared Domin put the Rays on a 4-on-3 power play at 14:45, and they didn’t take long to convert. At 15:26, Blake Coffey tapped the puck into the right circle for Larry Jungwirth, and the sharpshooter fired it over Jason Grande’s shoulder on a perfectly placed short-side snipe to level the score heading into the first intermission.

In the early stages of period two, Garrett Hallford emerged victorious from a puck battle in an Amarillo corner. He fed a crisp pass between the hashmarks for CJ Regula, who slapped a one-timer on net and cleanly beat Grande for his third goal of the season.

Angus Scott padded the Rays’ lead just three and a half minutes later. Dakota Concannon, playing in just his third game as an IceRay, worked for the puck along the left wall and stole possession. He then fed it into the slot for Scott, who buried his fourth goal of the season to give the IceRays a 3-1 advantage.

However, Trey Bagwell and Brendan Michaelian each scored within a three-minute span to tie things up before the second period ended. Bagwell received a centering pass from a relentlessly forechecking Nikita Sokolov and tucked his shot inside the left post, and Brendan Michaelian sniped his shot through a heavy screen on an Amarillo power play.

The third period was scoreless until nearly fourteen minutes in, when Julian Makary whacked the puck away from Marcus Chorney at the right point. While shorthanded, Makary charged down his off-wing with Rylee St. Onge on his right, and fed the red-hot winger a cross-crease pass for a tap-in goal. St. Onge tied a franchise record with the tally, becoming just the second IceRay in junior franchise history (Jungwirth) to score at least a goal in seven consecutive games.

With the IceRays riding high following the historic goal, the Bulls struck. Just seven seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Josh DeLuca fired from between the circles and beat Veltri to re-tie the game at four.

Going to overtime for the 11th time in their last 18 games, the IceRays experienced their shortest one yet. Only six seconds into sudden death, Jared Domin skated into the top of the right circle and slung a wrist shot inside the right post. The goal was his first as a Bull in just his second game after being traded from Lone Star.

Veltri was given his third overtime loss of the season, making 24 of a possible 29 saves. Grande halted 18 of 22 and earned his 10th win. The IceRays will host the Shreveport Mudbugs on Friday, January 19th for Teacher Appreciation Night. Admission is free for teachers throughout the greater Corpus Christi Area. Puck drop is set for 7:05 pm CT. The game will be broadcast on and on YouTube.