Friday, 11.24.17 / 10:22 pm CT
Playing at the Ector County Coliseum for the first time this season, the IceRays exchanged momentum shifts with the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday night, coming from behind to force overtime but ultimately being edged in a 5-4 decision.
Just a minute into the contest, Evan Somoza picked up a loose puck in the left circle and just spun around and rifled it on net. It happened to sneak under Jacob Acton’s pads, and it gave Odessa a very early 1-0 lead.
After Nick Wilson was found guilty of hooking, the IceRays went on an early power play just 2:30 into the tilt. Rylee St. Onge motored down the slot on a partial breakaway and nearly scored short-side, but Alex Camarre flung out his right pad to make the save. St. Onge later had a goal waived off due to the net being dislodged.
At 5:45, Angus Scott found himself on a breakaway and deked Camarre out of position, tucking it past him for his second goal of the season. Scott’s tally tied the game, but the stalemate did not last long.
Just over seven minutes later, Nick Wilson blasted a shot that grazed the outside of the left post. The puck pinballed right to Peyton Frantti, who then buried it over Acton’s shoulder. Odessa held a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Shortly after the halfway marker of regulation, Trevor Wilhelm galloped up the middle before feeding Garrett Hallford a pass on the right wing. The veteran turned his shot on net. Camarre kicked out the pad to make the save, but Wilhelm cashed in on the rebound. Wilhelm’s goal tied things up again, but Odessa would regain the lead for the third time.
Somoza scored his second goal of the game immediately after an offensive zone faceoff from the left circle. Just 1:18 into the following period, Matt Brown scored his first goal as a Jackalope on a slick deke in which he cut in between the circles without much room, and tucked it past Acton to give Odessa a 4-2 advantage.
The Rays caught a break just 24 seconds later, which rejuvenated life on their bench. Brendan Miller had the puck behind the Odessa goal line. Trying to center a pass for Hallford, the puck ricocheted off former IceRay Joe Rosa’s stick and over the goal line, bringing Corpus Christi to within a goal.
It took them nearly the entire period, but the IceRays managed to tie things up. With just seven seconds remaining and the team’s six-game point streak on the line, the red-hot Larry Jungwirth fired a right point shot through a crowd of bodies in front of Camarre. It found its way through, beating the Jackalopes goaltender over the shoulder to force overtime. Jungwirth’s goal not only extended the IceRays’ point streak to seven games, but prolonged his own scoring streak, as well.
Unfortunately, a small mishap in overtime prevented the IceRays from leaving with a storybook ending. Ricky Carballo, making his Odessa debut, capitalized on a turnover and beat Acton inside the left post to snap the Jacks’ three-game losing skid and tie the IceRays for fourth place in the South.
Acton made 40 of a possible 45 saves in his first overtime defeat as an IceRay. Camarre earned his sixth win with Odessa, stopping 36 of 40. The IceRays can regain sole possession of fourth place by splitting the series with Odessa tomorrow night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:11 pm CT at the Ector County Coliseum.