WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (26-16-3-4) made a late push to draw within one goal but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 4-3 regulation loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (29-16-3-2) on Friday night from the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
The IceRays jumped out to the early lead 1-0 at 6:36 when forward Matt Novo found a loose puck from behind the net and tapped it in to an open goal. From there, the Wildcats went on a four-goal unanswered run beginning at 9:30 when forward Matt Hanewall re-directed a shot in front of the net coming from the blueline to tie the game, 1-1. Just before the end of the opening period, Wildcats defenseman Ryan Orgel flipped a shot from the left point at 19:08 to take the 2-1 edge.
In the second period, Wildcats forward Nick Rosa pushed a puck through IceRays netminder Camden Burggrabe at 6:57 through a slew of bodies to double the lead, 3-1. After IceRays forward Griffin Loughran’s unsuccessful penalty shot attempt at 12:21, the Wildcats came back to score again, this time from forward Ilya Skvortsov along the right wall at 13:43 to triple the lead at 4-1 and spell the end of the night for Burggrabe. Despite a late penalty kill in the period, IceRays forward Brendan Miller stashed in his second shorthanded goal in as many nights at 17:44 to cut the lead in half at 4-2.
The IceRays took that momentum into the third period and tacked on one more early at 3:48 when forward Josh Tripp jammed home a rebound at the right post, drawing within one at 4-3. Multiple presses were made toward the Wildcats net, and even with the netminder pulled, the IceRays couldn’t find the game-tying goal, falling 4-3 in regulation to the Wildcats.
Wildcats goaltender Evan Moyse (15-8-3) earned the win, halting 31 of 34 shots. IceRays netminder Camden Burggrabe (9-5-2) picked up the loss, stopping 23 of 27 shots in 34:43 minutes, and Tomáš Vomáčka turned aside all seven shots in relief. The IceRays finish their three-game set against the Wildcats on Saturday, Mar. 11 at 7:05 p.m. from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) & Hockey TV.
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Wednesday, Mar. 15 for a single-game meeting with the Shreveport Mudbugs. Join the IceRays in their push for the 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs and pick up seats for the final games of the 2016-17 season by calling the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).