CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (15-13-1-3) and Amarillo Bulls (12-17-7-1) took a close game to a shootout, and the IceRays scored the lone tally in the best-of-three contest to take a 4-3 win on Thursday night at the American Bank Center.
The Bulls jumped out early in the contest and earned the first goal of the game at 1:30. Bulls forward Brandon Walkom slipped a shot from the high slot by the IceRays netminder to take a 1-0 lead. After the early hiccup, the IceRays evened the score in the back half of the second period thanks to newcomer Larry Jungwirth, who had some help from a Bulls deflection at 12:10 to tie the game, 1-1.
An early power play in the second period provided an opportunity for the IceRays to take their first lead of the game, and at 3:42 forward Griffin Loughran batted in a loose rebound just outside of the crease for his first NAHL goal and a 2-1 IceRays lead. The Bulls found a tying goal at 10:33 when defenseman Jeff Solow slotted a rebound along the ice to tie the game, 2-2. During a double-minor penalty against the IceRays, forward Mason Krueger helped to kill off the penalties by taking 20 seconds off the clock with four Bulls players fighting for the puck, and that momentum bled into the third period.
Just 54 seconds into the third, Krueger found a loose puck from forward Brad Power to knock in a shot just underneath the crossbar to edge ahead, 3-2. A power play midway through the third period helped the Bulls tie the game once again, 3-3, when forward Steven Ipri re-directed a shot from the blue line that changed directions. After a clean rest of the third period and overtime, the two sides went to a shootout. In the second round, IceRays forward David Thomson scored his first shootout goal in three attempts this season, and the IceRays held the Bulls scoreless in the shootout to take a 4-3 win.
IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (10-10-2) earned the win, stopping 26 of 29 shots, while Bulls goaltender Brandon Bussi (7-4-3) picked up the loss, turning away 33 of 36 shots. The IceRays and Bulls finish their weekend set at the American Bank Center on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com and the American Bank Center Box Office. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, Hockey TV and 87.7FM in-arena.
Season memberships for the 2016-17 season are still available with full and partial season plans. Reserve yours by contacting the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).