The IceRays came into Friday night American Bank Center season finale looking to snap a bit of a skid. Not only were they successful in doing so, but they also did so in front of the largest crowd in the NAHL this season.
It was not always a positive vibe at ABC for the Rays on Friday night, as El Paso came out firing scoring two goals in the first period including their first coming under a minute into the game.
The second period is when Corpus started to rally in front of their north of five thousand people crowd. The first goal came quicker for the Rays in the middle frame than El Paso was able to strike in the first. Just 39 seconds into the period, Oliver Stumpel got the IceRays on the board. This was Stumpel’s second goal of the weekend where he made his return for the first games in nearly two months. Although he has points in five of his last six games played, this dates back all the way to early December.
Later on in the period, Matt Harvey funneled one toward the net. The initial Harvey attempt would not find its way onto the goal, but the puck continued to move forward toward the cage. When it got into position of an opportunity for a deflection, it jumped up in the air. It was Michael Casey getting it out of mid air and slamming it home to continue his hot streak and even things at 2-2. Casey now has averaged over a point per game in his last sixteen games played.
The Rays were not sticking to only two goals scored in the second period when they went onto the power play. Over a minute into the power play, Corpus was able to funnel a puck to the slot where Colby Seitz was waiting to slam it home. Seitz scored his twelfth goal of the season to put the Rays ahead 3-2. Seitz extended his scoring streak to four games and moves his offensive hot streak to seven goals in his last nine games.
A 3-2 lead at the second intermission was held throughout the majority of the third period as well. It was close enough late for El Paso to pull their goaltender late in the game. For the Rays, it took one attempt at the vacant cage to get a two goal lead. Juraj Elias scored his second goal with Corpus Christi on the goal capping off a two point night for him and the IceRays.
Corpus Christi ends their home schedule with a win in front of a crowd of 5,024, which is the largest crowd in the league this season. The IceRays hold the top three attended games this season including the home opener, Stars and Stripes Night, and now Friday’s Pack the House for Charity Night.
The Rays hit the road for the last two weekends of the season starting with Shreveport on Friday and Saturday. Coverage for the games is scheduled to start at 6:50 on Brewster Street Radio and HockeyTV with puck drop coming at 7:11.