The IceRays opened a three-game series at American Bank Center on Thursday night against the Odessa Jackalopes. The series is a big one for Corpus due to the fact that if they swept Odessa, it would be a tie in the standings. The two teams faced off last week in Odessa with one game going each team’s way.
On Thursday, it was Odessa striking first on the scoreboard to earn a 1-0 lead just under seven minutes into the game. The Jackalopes extended their lead to two and eventually three to zero with just over six to go in the first.
The IceRays power play found themselves on the ice late in period number one. Although the first 1:56 of the man-advantage was unsuccessful, Stepan Kuznetsov was able to find the back of the net to make the IceRays power play a perfect 100% in the first period.
After trailing by two at the first intermission, the IceRays found themselves down one after a shorthanded goal from Nathan Butler. Butler’s initial attempt to find the back of the net went of the pad of the Odessa goaltender, but he slammed hit home on the rebound. With the Rays trailing by one, they were looking to find a third to tie it, but it was Odessa striking next to bring the score to 4-2 at intermission number two.
In the third, it was Odessa finding the back of the net first to extend the lead to three once again. The Rays power play found their way back onto the ice half way through the third. Just seven seconds into the man-advantage, Jude Kurtas found the back of the net to bring the Rays back within two.
A penalty shot goal for Odessa brought the lead back to three late in the period, which was a lead they would hold onto throughout the rest of the game. Odessa took game one by a score of 6-3.
The two teams will go at it again on Friday and Saturday at American Bank Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm both nights. Coverage of the games can be found on Brewster Street Radio and HockeyTV.