Odessa, TX (March 18, 2023) – The Corpus Christi IceRays fell to the Odessa Jackalopes 6-5 in a shootout at Ector County Coliseum on Saturday, March 18th, 2023.
It was the Jackalopes who had the edge at the start of tonight’s game, striking just 1:33 into the game thanks to Ryan Kelly’s 12th of the year. Cameron Dunn added some insurance on a rebound goal at 11:29 to put Odessa up 2-0. Like they did late in the first period last night, however, the IceRays responded just a little over a minute later when Anthony Cafarelli potted a rebound for his team-leading 13th goal of the year from Nils Forselius and Dylan Contreras. Odessa was granted the first power play opportunity of the game and Cameron Dunn scored on another rebound out front to put the Jackalopes up 3-1 with just under 3 minutes to go in the first. The IceRays got a power play of their own just moments later and Jack Linton finished a rebound produced by a Connor Brust shot from the point for his first career goal as an IceRay to make it a 3-2 game. Not a bad way to come out of the first stanza for the IceRays who were outshot 21-8.
The IceRays had a much better start to the second period and got another opportunity on the power play. They thought they had tied the game on a one-timer from Nate Murray which was then taken off the board after it was determined that the net had moved prior to the puck crossing the goal line. We saw another spirited scrap not long afterwards when Dylan Jensen got the best of Odessa forward Michael Kadlecik, sending them both to the box for the next 15 minutes. At 9:31, Emerson Goode buried a 2-on-1 feed from Dayne Hoyord to put the Jackalopes up 4-2. Moments later, Noah Marino tipped home a pass from Tanyon Bajzer to give Odessa the 5-2 lead at 10:37 of the second period.
Patrik Jurcak replaced Lukas Malant as the IceRays trailed by three goals heading into the final stanza, but they’ve been no strangers to forging comebacks this season. Cam Crolley beat Odessa netminder Gergely Orosz on the backhand seven minutes into the third to make it a 5-3 game, snapping a 19-game goal drought. Then, less than two minutes later, it was Connor Brust who snapped one by Orosz for his second goal of the weekend to bring the IceRays to within one. Later in the period, a great hustle by Blake Lewis drew an Odessa penalty and it was Cam Crolley on the ensuing power play who hammered one past the glove of Orosz to complete the third period comeback for the IceRays.
The teams traded chances in the overtime session but after five minutes of scoreless play, the IceRays would head to their second shootout of the season. The Jackalopes got on the board in the second round thanks to Cameron Dunn, and then Stepan Kuznetsov kept the IceRays alive with a goal in the third round of the shootout. Dayne Hoyord ultimately sealed the deal for the Jackalopes in the next round who won their sixth shootout of the season.
The IceRays showed great character battling back tonight with a few key players out of the lineup and taking three out of a possible four points in the weekend series. Hopefully more to come from the IceRays as they close out the final month of the season.
IceRays Next Game
The IceRays next game is Friday, March 24th against the Amarillo Wranglers at Budweiser Bull Pen. Puck drop is at 7:15 PM CST.
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