CORPUS CHRISTI, TX- After a quick start and a solid two periods of play which built a lead, the Corpus Christi IceRays saw the game change and fell to the New Mexico Mustangs in overtime, 3-2, at the American Bank Center on Thursday night. Patrick Anderson scored the game-tying and game-winning goals for the ‘Stangs. With the win, New Mexico improves to 18-35-4 (40 points) and collects their first road victory in Corpus Christi this season. In the loss, Corpus Christi falls to 19-33-5 (43 points) on the season. It was the second overtime loss this season for the ‘Rays against the Mustangs.
Beau Walker and Joe Smereck each scored for the second game in a row.
In a period dominated by Corpus Christi, the IceRays were unable to beat Marco Wieser on 18 first period shots. The ‘Rays had two opening period power plays, but the Austrian netminder had a strong 20 minutes and kept the game scoreless. Corpus Christi rang two posts. New Mexico could not beat Pheonix Copley on their five attempts.
Corpus Christi carried their momentum with them into the second period as Beau Walker (21) scored the quickest goal to start a period this season when his shot beat Wieser 11 seconds into the middle to give the IceRays a 1-0 lead. Josh Obregon and Colton Saucerman earned the assists. The Mustangs power play stood at a league-worst 8.4%, but Jake Webber (8) beat Copley with a shot from the point at the 5:14 mark on the man advantage to give the ‘Stangs the tying goal, 1-1. Corpus Christi would tally a power-play goal of their own, 9:02 into the period, when Joe Smereck (17) scored his third goal in two games. Shots were 13-8 in favor of the IceRays.
New Mexico controlled the play in the third period and it resulted in a game-tying goal. At the 12:21 mark Patrick Anderson (18) took a feed from Sander Valde after the IceRays were caught in a line change and snuck a quick shot through Copley to tie the game at 2-2. It was a power-play goal which was also assisted by Adam Chapie. New Mexico outshot Corpus Christi, 16-9.
It did not take long for the ‘Stangs to shock the ‘Rays as Anderson (19) scored his second of the night on the opening rush of overtime after Copley had difficulties trying to freeze the puck in his crease. It was the only shot of overtime and New Mexico took the road victory, 3-2. Final shots were 40-30 for the IceRays. Corpus Christi went 1-4 on the power play while New Mexico was 2-4 on the man advantage.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
- Patrick Anderson (2-1-3, GWG)
- Marco Wieser (38 saves, win)
- Joe Smereck (1-0-1)
The IceRays conclude the regular season on home ice against the New Mexico Mustangs on Friday March 25th at 7:05 PM at the American Bank Center. 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”