WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (19-13-5) traded power play goals with the Wichita Falls Wildcats (27-10-0) but were unable to finish the comeback, dropping 5-4 on Thursday night from Kay Yeager Coliseum. The five power play goals are the most combined for an IceRays game this season.
The IceRays conceded an early lead for the fourth-straight game with tonight’s on special teams. After an early penalty against IceRays forward Ryan Cusin, Wildcats forward Austin Beaulieu found open room in front of the crease and flipped the puck in the net for a 1-0 lead at 2:21. Immediately after that, defenseman Anthony Cortese claimed a high sticking call, allowing the Wildcats to come back and eventually spread the lead to two, 2-0, at 3:45 thanks to a back-handed flip by defenseman Jake Townsend. The IceRays converted on their first power play attempt of the game at 14:08 with precision passing coming from forwards Wes Michaud and Tanner Lomsnes to find Cusin streaking to the left post to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
The story continued to fall on special teams in the second period with two more power play goals adding up combined. The Wildcats pushed back ahead, 3-1, at 7:37 when forward Colin Staub crashed the IceRays net and jammed it through netminder Andrew Lindgren following a roughing call on forward Joe Chitwood. The IceRays answered again at 12:38 on the power play, converting on a slashing call against Wildcats defenseman Jeff Baum. Cortese found Michaud for a one-time shot in the right circle that redirected off a loose Lomsnes stick to pull back to within one, 3-2.
Finally, both teams started to convert on five-on-five opportunities in the third period. At 1:26, the Wildcats jumped back out to a two-goal lead, 4-2, with a chip in by Townsend for his second goal of the night coming from forward Alex Falconer. Lomsnes answered back for the IceRays at 4:22 directly off a shot at the point by defenseman Pierre Crinon to draw back within one, 4-3. The Wildcats capitalized next, scoring at 9:53from a tuck-in by forward Paul Soubry to push back ahead, 5-3. At 10:37, the IceRays added their final tally with forwards Chitwood and Maksim Dzhioshvili moving the puck up ice and the goal credited to Chitwood, who threaded through two defenseman and make the final score 5-4.
Wildcats netminder Austin Shaw (16-5-0) picked up the win, stopping 26 of 30 shots, while Lindgren (14-8-3) earned the loss, turning aside 37 of 42 shots. The IceRays close out the weekend on Friday, January 23against the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7:05 p.m. from Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on KSIX (1230 AM, 96.1 FM, & 103.3 FM) and FASTHockey.com.
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