CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (25-27-6) were led by special teams to sweep the Wichita Falls Wildcats (42-11-5) with a 4-2 win on Saturday night at the American Bank Center. The IceRays close the home schedule with a 13-14-3 record.
The IceRays came out of the gates with a high amount of offensive pressure, putting up the game’s first six shots before the Wildcats turned to their physical side to create their own offensive chances. Despite being on the penalty kill, the IceRays took advantage and made the best of the situation by grabbing the game’s first goal. IceRays forward Brendan Miller worked his way to the front of the net after helping to create a shorthanded rush and slipped it through for his first shorthanded goal of the year, giving the IceRays a 1-0 lead at 9:31.
Shorthanded play continued to be a strength for the IceRays early on in the second period on their second-straight penalty kill. At 3:50, IceRays forward Brady Crabtree took the puck himself up the right wing and chipped the puck into the upper portion of the net to double the lead, 2-0. Special teams continued to provide goals at 6:15 as IceRays forward Mason Krueger cashed in on his third-straight game with a power play goal to triple the lead, 3-0. The Wildcats did find an answer late in the frame at 15:10 when forward Nick Rosa redirected a shot coming from the left point in through the slot to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Wildcats continued to amp up pressure in the third period and drew within one before the midway mark. At 9:21, forward Austin Albrecht lifted an upper deck shot from right in front of the IceRays net on the power play to cut the lead to one, 3-2. Moments later at 9:40, IceRays forward Stevie Bryant redirected a shot in front of the net coming from the right point to widen the lead to 4-2. In spite of a push with the Wildcats netminder pulled, the IceRays held off the Wildcats to earn the win and pick up a sweep to close out the home schedule.
IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (15-13-2) earned the win, turning away 37 of 38 shots. Wildcats netminder Justin Kapelmaster (32-8-3) picked up the loss, saving 13 of 16 shots in 26:15 minutes, and backup Julian Sime saw 31:43 minutes of ice time and halted eight of nine shots. The IceRays close out the season beginning on Thursday, March 7 to begin the final two-game set against the Wichita Falls Wildcats from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) & FASTHockey.com.
Keep up with the IceRays all season and off-season long, and 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).