BLAINE, MINN. – The Corpus Christi IceRays earned their first win of the 2014-15 season against the Kenai River Brown Bears at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minn.
The IceRays started the scoring at 9:42 of the first period when defender Antony Cortese found a loose puck off a Brad LeLieve shot, tucked it back home, and gave the IceRays the early lead, 1-0. Forwards LeLievre and Connor Kelly earned the assists on the play. The Brown Bears would answer back later in the period. After Jason Lem was called for roughing, Gustav Berglund tied the game, 1-1, at 17:38 on the power play with the help of Matt Rudin.
In the second period, Cortese would once again come up strong. After a Maurin Bouvet tripping call, Cortese hit a slapper wide open at the top of the right point to give the IceRays the lead, 2-1, on the power play. Forwards Nic LaBurn and Tanner Lomsnes both received points on the play. Once again, Kenai River would tie the game, this time at 9:23 of the second period off a shot from Nate Colwell. There would be one more answer from Cortese in the period at 16:58 when he earned his first hat-trick of the season and gave his squad the lead, 3-2. Cortese’s hat-trick is the first recorded by a defender in the 17-year history of the organization. Kelly and Nathan Bryer earned assists.
In the third period, the game opened up for the IceRays, and Bryer was the benefactor on both goals. At 5:21 of the period, he increased the lead, 4-2, with the help of Kelly on his first goal of the season. After the Brown Bears pulled their netminder late in the period, Bryer raced in and threw a backhander past Kenai River goalie Zach Quinn at 17:28 to finish the scoreline, 5-2.
The IceRays tied the Brown Bears in shots 23-23 after leading through most of the game. IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren (1-0-1) earned his first win of the season, stopping 21 of 23 shots. Quinn (0-2-0) earned the loss, saving 18 of his 23 shots. The IceRays return to action Thursday, September 18 against the Minnesota Wilderness in the second game of the NAHL Showcase. Coverage begins at 7:45 p.m. with Countdown to Faceoff and the opening drop at 8:00 p.m. only on FastHockey.com.
The IceRays open their 2014-15 home schedule on Saturday, September 27 against the Lone Star Brahmas. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for season and individual ticket details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com. Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook