TOPEKA, KAN. – The Corpus Christi IceRays (14-14-3) come from behind in the third period with two goals to win 2-1 over the Topeka RoadRunners (21-14-1) on Saturday night at the Kansas Expocentre. The IceRays sweep the RoadRunners for the first time in junior franchise history and win all four games played in their five-day schedule to move back to a .500 record.
Compared to last night, the first period was much more defensive with not many chances to get toward net. Both teams combined for just seven shots, and one of the five Topeka shots found the net. At 7:24, RoadRunners forward Quinn Preston flipped a back-handed shot from down low top-shelf to take a 1-0 lead.
Most of play nestled in the neutral zone without too many shots in the second period, though both sides had a couple great chances to try to claim the second total goal of the evening. RoadRunners forward Yu Hikosaka was outletted for a long lead pass for a breakaway, but a bouncing puck hopped away from him to stifle the attempt. Topeka also had a few pucks come loose in front of the IceRays net and all attempts scooted away from potential danger. The IceRays’ best opportunity to equalize came later in the frame with forward Toby Kircher wide open in the low slot but not able to loft the puck over low pads, thus hemming Corpus Christi shy of the tying goal.
The IceRays made their push in the third period to come from behind in the final 20 minutes. IceRays forward Drake Lindsay found a loose puck to the right of an open net tied up by forward Carter Johnson to tie the game, 1-1, at 7:22. Both teams clamped down and pushed ahead with a near go-ahead goal wiped out late in the third period that never crossed the goal line. With a lane through the middle, IceRays forward Mason Krueger raced into the Topeka end and lifted a shot back-handed into the top of the net to give the road side a 2-1 lead. Despite a press by Topeka late, the IceRays crawled away with a 2-1 win over the RoadRunners.
IceRays goaltender Graham Hunt (9-8-2) earned his fifth-straight win, stopping 24 of 25 shots, while RoadRunners netminder Tyler Johnson (13-8-0) is saddled with the loss, saving 17 of 19 shots. The IceRays continue their six-game road swing on Friday, Jan. 8 in the first of a 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) and FASTHockey.com.
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Thursday, Jan. 21 for the first of two games against the Topeka RoadRunners. 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).