CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (12-14-3) finished the 2015 calendar year on a high note thanks to a 4-1 win the Odessa Jackalopes (10-12-4) on Wednesday night at the American Bank Center. The IceRays close December with three-straight wins and a 6-2-0 record.
Play was swift in the first period with numerous power play chances for both sides, but the opening goal didn’t come until the final minute. IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof, who played forward for the first time this season, knocked in a slow sliding puck down low at 19:11 to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
The Jackalopes pressed back in the first half of the second period with high-quality chances and one breakaway that was turned away by the IceRays. Despite the press, the IceRays converted on their fourth power play chance of the night thanks to forward Brad Power with a back door stuffer from the right side to double the lead, 2-0. Just under four minutes later at 15:58, IceRays forward Brendan Miller set up forward Nathan Bryer for a poke from outside of the Odessa crease to slip the puck in and triple the lead, 3-0.
The shutout bid ended early in the third period with the Jackalopes putting the pressure back on the IceRays. At 3:56, forward Hampus Sjodahl knocked in a loose puck on the right side of a yawning goal-mouth to answer back to a 3-1 scoreline. The IceRays clamped down defensively from there and added one more before the mid-way mark of the frame. Power found forward Carter Johnson open in the mid-slot to shelf the final tally of the game, finally resting the score at 4-1 with play simmering down at the end of the contest.
IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (7-8-2) earned his third-straight win, turning aside 32 of 33 shots, while Jackalopes goaltender Gunnar Rivers (6-5-1) slips with the loss, stopping 25 of 29 shots. The IceRays begin the 2016 calendar year two days from now on New Year’s Day at 7:05 p.m. with the first of a two-game set against the Topeka RoadRunners from Landon Arena and third game in four days. Coverage begins at 6:50 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).