Amarillo, TX (Feb 24, 2023) – The Corpus Christi IceRays lost a close battle to the Amarillo Wranglers at the Budweiser Bullpen on Friday, February 24th, 2023.
The IceRays knew an on-time start would be important heading into tonight’s matchup, but it was the Wranglers who struck first at the 4:17 mark as Jack McDonald buried a juicy rebound just outside Patrik Jurcak’s crease. The IceRays settled in as the period wore on but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The IceRays had a better start to the second period and drew a couple penalties, but were unable to capitalize on either power play opportunity. The Wranglers took advantage of a turnover in the IceRays’ zone and it was Ben Ivey who snapped one past the blocker of Patrik Jurcak at the 9:12 mark of the second. Chase Davis added to the lead to make it 3-0 Amarillo after a wrister through traffic beat Jurcak at the 14:54 mark.
The tide started to turn in the IceRays favor later in the period as Connor Brust received a drop pass from Logan Neilson and ripped one past Amarillo netminder Luca Ganz for his fourth of the year at the 18:28 mark of the second period to make it a 3-1 game. Just moments later, Dylan Contreras found Nate Murray wide open at center and sent him in on a breakaway, beating Ganz upstairs for his first goal as an IceRay to make it 3-2 with just 17 seconds to go in the second period.
As we expected, it was a fast-paced and ferocious third period from the opening puck drop. Nils Forselius tied the game 3-3 on a pass that deflected off of an Amarillo defender and past Luca Ganz. And then, at 8:29, Bryce Cooper rifled one by the glove hand of Ganz to give the IceRays the 4-3 lead at 8:29 for his first goal as an IceRay. Things were looking good for the IceRays until the 16:24 mark of the third period when Wranglers forward Jonathon Barker buried a rebound to tie the game at four.
The IceRays would head to overtime for the first time since December 10th and it did not take long as Amarillo defenseman Pierce Patterson finished a 2-on-1 just 29 seconds into OT to send the Wranglers home with a 5-4 win.
There was a lot for the IceRays to be proud of tonight, clawing their way back from a 3-goal deficit against a solid division opponent and picking up a point in the process. They also killed off a lengthy 5-on-3 Amarillo power play early in the third which sparked the comeback. The IceRays were outshot 40-29 and were 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
IceRays Next Game
The IceRays next game is Saturday, February 25th against the Amarillo Wranglers at the Budweiser Bull Pen. Puck drop is at 7:15 PM CST.
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