CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Trevor Heuser and Nico Sturm each scored their first NAHL goals in the second period while Forbes Ploszaj stopped all 20 shots he faced as the Corpus Christi IceRays recorded their fifth shutout of the year with a 4-0 win over the Odessa Jackalopes in front of 2,769 fans at American Bank Center on Saturday night.
The flurry of second period tallies came in a span of 7:49. Trevor Heuser took a pass at the right point from Luke Bennett and sent a rocket through a screen that beat Jackalopes goaltender Eric Hancock low for a 1-0 lead at the 12:11 mark. In addition to the Bennett assist, Wes Michaud added a secondary assist on the goal and Corpus Christi led 1-0.
6:38 after the IceRays broke the ice, Nico Sturm picked up his first NAHL goal in only his second game in Corpus Christi. An excellent backhand pass by Michael Mahan landed right on the tape of Sturm who went in on a breakaway from the top of the offensive zone circles. Sturm put the move on and tapped the puck by Hancock for a 1-0 lead with only 1:11 left in the period. Mahan and Luke McDiarmid assisted.
Just 29 seconds after Corpus Christi took a 2-0 lead, they made it a three goal advantage as a pileup occurred in front of Eric Hancock between the pipes. Players tried to locate and jam at the loose puck which was hopping around. Finally, Malo Ville got a handle on it and wrapped it between the post and left leg pad of Hancock for his fifth of the year. Luke Bennett and Wes Michaud with the assists on the Ville strike.
To start the third period of play, Yoshihiro Kuroiwa came in and replaced Eric Hancock in net for the Jackalopes. While Jason Lem sat in the box for Corpus Christi with a minor penalty, the ‘Rays scored their third short-handed goal of the year. Wes Michaud pushed the puck by the defense and went in all alone on a breakaway. Michaud pulled Kuroiwa to his left and backhanded the puck softly through his legs, unassisted, at 6:09 of the final period for a 4-0 lead.
That was the final as Forbes Ploszaj stopped all 20 shots he faced from Odessa
The IceRays return home on Thursday night against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Puck drops at 7:05PM, coverage begins at 6:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on Sportsjuice.com, ustream.com, and fasthockey.com. Click LISTEN LIVE on the IceRays website for more information!
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