TOPEKA, KAN. – The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-0-0) pushed forward and claimed a 3-1 win over the Topeka RoadRunners (1-2-0) on Friday night at the Kansas ExpoCentre. It’s the first season-opening win since 2012 and the first against Topeka over the past three seasons.
Most of the first period was a back and forth contest without a lot of shots and chances toward the net. Play was concentrated in the neutral zone and zipping the puck from end-to-end. The RoadRunners gained the first powerplay of the contest on a double-minor against IceRays forward Mason Krueger that was killed off. Late in the frame at 18:59, forward Andrew McGlynn took a hard slap shot from the left wall that knuckled off Topeka goaltender Vladimir Cibulka and gently by to give the IceRays a 1-0 lead and their first goal of the season.
The RoadRunners found an answer in the second period at 10:18 with another odd-angle shot going through the netminder. This time it was forward Matt Jennings with a ripper from the left corner to sneak past IceRays goaltender Graham Hunt and knot the score, 1-1. In the final moments of the period on a delayed penalty, IceRays defenseman Michael Bevilacqua took a slap shot from the left point and found a seam through traffic to take a 2-1 lead at 19:47.
Play picked up for both sides with the IceRays coming away with the lone goal in the frame. Off a turnover in the neutral zone, IceRays defenseman C.J. Valerian found forward Ryan Cusin with a wide-open net to double the lead, 3-1, at 7:09. The RoadRunners pulled Cibulka with 1:35 left in the final frame, and even with a 6-on-4 power play were unable to capitalize and stop the IceRays from owning a 3-1 victory.
Hunt (1-0-0) earned the win, saving 24 of 25 shots, while Cibulka (1-1-0) picked up the loss following a 14-save effort of 17 shots. The IceRays finish off their weekend series on Sunday, September 20 at 6:05 p.m. against the Topeka RoadRunners at Landon Arena. Hear the action beginning with Countdown to Faceoff at 5:50 p.m. on the IceRays flagship station, SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM).
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