AMARILLO, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (10-14-3) made a statement before the holiday break with a 6-2 win over the Amarillo Bulls (8-21-3) on Saturday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. The win draws them even with the Odessa Jackalopes for fourth place and a playoff position heading into the holiday break.
After falling last night, the IceRays answered back in a very large way in the first period. IceRays forward Mason Krueger got the scoring started at 6:09 with a chance down low to give the road side a 1-0 lead. The Bulls gave the IceRays three-straight power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage, and Corpus Christi converted on all three chances. The first came at 13:00 with defenseman Michael Bevilacqua rifling a shot from the blue line to double the lead, 2-0. Next came a redirection by Brendan Miller in the low slot at 16:03 to triple the lead, 3-0. Then, 17 seconds later at 16:20, forward Carter Johnson found forward Brad Power wide open in the slot to make it a 4-0 advantage. It marks the first time the IceRays have scored three power play goals on three chances in junior franchise history. Following that goal, the Bulls pulled starting netminder Anton Martinsson.
The scoring trailed into the second period with the IceRays getting back on the board. Forward Toby Kircher broke with forward Regen Cavanagh on a 2-on-0 breakaway with the German chipping the puck over the new netminder Jake Weatherly to take a 5-0 lead. Amarillo found their answer a few minutes later at 8:20 with a power play goal from forward Liam Ferguson to break the shutout, 5-1. With a late power play, the IceRays found another conversion, this time by Cavanagh for a 6-1 lead heading into the third period. At that point, the IceRays were a perfect 4-for-4 on the power play and finished 4-for-6 on the evening, their best output of the season.
The Bulls pushed back in the third and got one more goal before the end of the contest. At 10:51, forward Jacob Nitsche tucked in a shot from the slot to make it a 6-2 contest, where the final score rested. IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (5-8-2) earned the win, saving 26 of 28 shots, and goaltender Sean Dickson made his NAHL debut, playing 1:38 minutes but not seeing a shot. Martinsson (8-16-3) grabbed the loss, saving 11 of 15 shots in 16:20 minutes, and Weatherly turned aside 19 of 21 shots in 23:40 minutes of relief.
After the holiday break, the IceRays return home to the American Bank Center on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7:11 p.m. to begin a two-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or by calling 361-814-PUCK. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, www.FASTHockey.com, and 87.7 FM in-arena.
Contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK or go to www.goicerays.com for details on season tickets along with pricing and seating. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).