Corpus Christi, TX – October 1, 2010
After spending the first seven games of their inaugural season on the road, the Corpus Christi IceRays returned home to best the previously undefeated Wichita Falls Wildcats, 4-3, in a shootout with 3,004 fans in attendance at the American Bank Center Friday night.
Michael Benedict (Eden, NY) tallied twice for the IceRays while Beau Walker (West Richland, WA) was the hero, scoring the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout.
The first period was evenly matched until the Rays were able to strike first at the 16:28 mark of the frame. Benedict (3) was the beneficiary of a turnover in the Wildcats’ defensive zone and beat goaltender Tyler Green to put Corpus Christi ahead, 1-0. Walker picked up an assist. It was the lone goal of the period as the IceRays and Wildcats were even in shots, 11-11.
Wichita Falls responded with goals in the second period from Chris Leone (2) and Ryan Frost (1) to pull ahead, 2-1, just 7:36 into the second period. The IceRays evened the score, at the 16:51 mark, when Benedict (4) scored for the second time, on the powerplay, as he sniped a hard wrist shot past Green, tying the score at 2-2. Casey Rogers (Monero Valley, CA) and Navarone Copley (North Pole, AK) assisted on the tally. Wichita Falls held a 13-11 shot advantage for the period.
The Wildcats would pull ahead once again, 9:27 into the third period, when Jason McAloon (1) took a feed from Sean Keane and beat IceRays’ netminder Marco Wieser (Villach, Austria) to put Wichita Falls on top, 3-2. However, Corpus Christi’s resiliency showed itself again as Jonathan Sdao (Niwot, CO) scored his first goal of the season, 13:11 into the final period of regulation. Sdao had missed the team’s previous seven games with a jaw injury. The score remained deadlocked at 3-3 after the third period with the IceRays outshooting the Wildcats in the third period, 9-5.
Both sides had opportunities in the overtime period, but neither was able to score a game-winner and the teams headed for a shootout. In the shootout, the Rays trailed 3-1 in the third round, but rallied back with goals from Cody Milligan (Las Vegas, NV) and Benedict to force an extra round in the shootout. Then, Walker delivered the heroics as he snapped one past Green to give the IceRays the 4-3 shootout victory.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
(1) Beau Walker (0-1-1, shootout game-winning goal)
(2) Michael Benedict (2-0-2)
(3) Navarone Copley (0-2-2)
Wichita Falls (6-0-1, 13 points)
Corpus Christi (4-3-1, 9 points)
The IceRays return to the ice tomorrow night, October 2nd as they host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at the American Bank Center. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 PM. For more information on tickets, sponsorships, and scheduling, please call the IceRays at 361.814.PUCK (7825) or visit them online at www.goicerays.com.
“THE NEW ICERAYS…TOMORROW’S STARS”