Saturday, 11.18.17 / 10:02 pm CT
Photo: Chip Pitcairn
Hoping to extend their winning streak to six games, the IceRays had a late lead slip away and fell 4-3 to the Lone Star Brahmas in a shootout.
Scoring the first goal of the game is something the IceRays had done four times in a row, and they did so a fifth time on Saturday. Going onto a power play 9:48 into the first period, the Rays took advantage of a fluky bounce. Rylee St. Onge rifled a shot on net from the right circle. It deflected off of Kimball Johnson’s skate, pinballed off Mitchell Gibson’s pads and right to the red-hot Larry Jungwirth. The IceRays’ leading scorer made no mistake, scoring his 10th goal in six games and extending his consecutive goal-scoring streak.
Moments later, Gibson was caught in no-man’s-land after a crazy carom off a partition in the right corner saw the puck land right on Noah Roofe’s stick. Having to rush the shot due to a tight backcheck, Roofe just missed the left post by inches and the Brahmas remained within a goal as the first period concluded.
The IceRays did an outstanding job throughout the night limiting Lone Star’s scoring opportunities. However, the visitors got a fortunate carom at 31:55.
Kyle Hallbauer skated down the right wing with speed, with Ture Linden an available target on his left. Hallbauer attempted a cross-crease pass to Linden, but the play was broken up by a sliding A.J. DiCesare. Unfortunately, the puck just happened to carom off of DiCesare’s skates and right between the pads of Chad Veltri, who was finally beaten.
With the score even at 1-1, the Rays went to their third power play of the game just 45 seconds after Hallbauer’s tally. Matt Acciaioli fired a long-range snipe from the left point to beat Gibson over the glove, perfectly placing his shot into the top right corner of the net.
Midway through period three, Trevor Wilhelm galloped down the right wing with Jungwirth on his right. Wilhelm slapped the puck off of Jungwirth’s stick and over Gibson’s glove to give the Rays a 3-1 lead.
Aidan Spellacy would answer just 59 seconds later, scoring a goal low-glove side on Veltri from the left circle. Austin Bottrell capped off the comeback with a goal following a net-mouth scramble at 55:36. The game remained time at the end of regulation, and overtime was underway.
Despite going on to a full 4-on-3 power play in sudden death due to a checking-from-behind penalty, the IceRays could not solve Gibson. In the shootout, Aleksi Peltonen shot first and put the Rays on the board. Hallbauer responded. Gibson and Veltri were then perfect through the next three rounds, but Kimball Johnson snuck a shot between Veltri’s pads for the game-winning shootout goal.
Veltri was given his first defeat in five starts, stopping 21 of a possible 24 shots. Gibson denied 19 of a possible 22 shots en route to his league-leading 11th win of the season. The IceRays will head out to Odessa to play the Jackalopes the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 24th. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and on SportsRadio Corpus Christi.