CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (22-24-6) hang on to claim a 2-1 win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats (28-10-4) on Saturday night at the American Bank Center. The win is the first this season against the Wildcats this season and first in almost exactly one year: Mar. 13, 2015 at the American Bank Center.
The IceRays capitalized first for the third-straight game, and both goals in the opening period came from turnovers in their offensive half of the ice. The first erupted at 5:59 when forward Brad Power collected his own rebound just above the goal crease and chipped it into the net to put the IceRays ahead 1-0. Exactly one minute later at 6:59, IceRays forward Drake Lindsay picked up the puck on a turnover in the offensive end and slotted a wrist shot from the mid-slot to double the lead, 2-0. The IceRays outshot the Wildcats 18-11 in the opening frame,
The Wildcats began their press back in the second period and found a power play early on that they then cashed in on. At 6:43, forward Aleksi Poikola was left open to the right of the net and tapped in the shot to cut the lead in half, 2-1. Not too long after, Wildcats forward Jeff Baum took a shot from the left point that caught contact from teammate Nikita Litviak in front of the net, but the goal was called back due to a hand pass to the net, keeping the scoreline at 2-1.
The third period continued much like the second period with the Wildcats shutting down their half of the ice and the IceRays staying content with playing defensive hockey. IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay continued his impeccable play in net with 16 saves in the third period, including a few open looks to try to equalize. The IceRays caught a late power play with the Wildcats netminder pulled, allowing the home side to tie up and hold on to the 2-1 win.
McKay (12-10-2) earned the win, turning away 40 of 41 shots, while Wildcats goalie Justin Kapelmaster (28-7-2) picked up the loss, tossing aside 34 of 36 shots. The IceRays head on the road to round out their season series with the Lone Star Brahmas starting on Friday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. from the NYTEX Sports Centre. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) & FASTHockey.com.
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Friday, March 25 and open a two-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes. Contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK or go to www.goicerays.com for details on season tickets along with pricing and seating. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).