The IceRays season started Wednesday afternoon with a matchup against the Maryland Black Bears. This was the first game of IceRays hockey in 557 days.
Although there was no score and Maryland led shots on goal, Corpus Christi had multiple opportunities in the first period. The game would remain scoreless heading into the first intermission.
In the second, Maryland controlled play for the first part of the period and were the first to strike on the scoreboard. The IceRays would also strike at the end of the period with Jayden Jensen scoring the team’s first goal of the season. Once again, the teams would go into the locker room all square, this time at one a side.
To start the third, Maryland was on the power play. Although they wouldn’t score on the man advantage, they were able to give themselves the lead once again on a back door scramble. The IceRays would tie things up with an Oliver Stumpel one-time shot that made its way past the Maryland netminder. Maryland took the lead once again and added another before Zach Dill scored his first as an IceRay late. Maryland would score an empty netter and send the IceRays home with a loss in Corpus Christi’s first game of the season.
Coach Lysyj said, “I thought we showed a lot of heart and a lot of character fighting there until the end. Overall, a lot of good things, but obviously, not the result we wanted.”
One of those good things on Wednesday afternoon was the power play as Zach Dill scored on the man advantage late in the game. Coach Lysyj said, “You go one of four, one of five you’re in the right range. We just have to clean up some details there. To me, it’s all effort, and we got the effort we wanted from the guys.”
The turnaround at the NAHL Showcase is quick. The IceRays will play three games in the next couple of days before heading back to the Coastal Bend. Jensen, who scored the first goal for the IceRays this afternoon, said, “I think the compete was there. We just have to come with the same effort and come together as a team more to get the win.”
Puck drop for game two of the NAHL Showcase is scheduled for 11:15 tomorrow morning as Corpus Christi faces off against the Minot Minotauros. Coverage of the game will be exclusively on HockeyTV.