CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Corpus Christi IceRays had a 2-1 lead in the second period, but the Texas Tornado stormed back to double up the ‘Rays, 6-3, at the American Bank Center on Thursday night. With the win Texas improves to 26-12-5 (57 points) overall while the ‘Rays drop their fifth straight and their record falls to 17-27-2 (36 points).
Colton Saucerman had a two-point night for the IceRays while Michael Benedict tallied his team-leading 21st goal of the year.
In an uneventful first period, neither team was able to generate much in the offensive department and were both shutout after the opening twenty minutes. Texas had the better of the chances offensively, but Pheonix Copley was strong in keeping the game scoreless. The Tornado outshot the IceRays, 16-5, and had the only man advantage opportunity of the period.
The second period was an entirely different period as the teams combined for five goals in the middle frame. Texas’ Jack Prince (16) scored his first of the period at the 5:27 mark when he was able to poke one through the pads of Copley to break the ice, 1-0. Corpus Christi knotted the game at 1-1 just 19 seconds later when Petr Stloukal (5) scored off an attacking-zone faceoff. The IceRays gained their first lead of the night, 9:50 into the period when Benedict (21) completed a tic-tac-toe passing sequence from Corpus Christi’s top line and redirected the puck past Jimmy Kruger to put the ‘Rays in front, 2-1. Beau Walker and Josh Obregon had the assists on the nice passing sequence. Texas rallied with the next two goals when Prince (17, 13:10) tallied his second of the period and Justin Jones (1, 16:50) scored his first for Texas this season to give the Tornado a 3-2 lead after two periods. Texas outshot Corpus Christi, 13-12.
Texas tallied two consecutive special teams’ goals to extend their lead to 5-2 in the third period. The first tally came shorthanded at the 1:15 mark of the period when Nathan Sliwinski (10) slithered a backhanded shot through Copley. David Rigatti (5) made it 5-2 on the power play, 3:43 in the period, when his shot beat Copley. The IceRays cut the lead to two at 5-3 when Josh Obregon (8) knocked home a Saucerman shot, 12:12 into the period, but it would be as close as the IceRays would get the rest of the way. Walker Hyland (1) added the extra insurance at the 13:14 mark to make the final 6-3. Final shots were 37-26 in favor of the Tornado. Texas was 2-4 on the power play while the IceRays went 0-2.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
- Jack Prince (2-0-2)
- Nathan Sliwinski (1-2-3)
- Walker Hyland (1-2-3)
Corpus Christi will play Texas on Friday night on “PINK IN THE RINK” night as the team wears special pink uniforms to be auctioned off after the game with the proceeds of the night benefiting the American Cancer Society. 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 6:50 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”