IceRays Hold Off Mudbugs for Road Victory

Oct 14, 2023

Corpus Christi, Texas – It’s been a long road trip for the Corpus Christi IceRays, albeit, by design.

The IceRays have been in Shreveport, Louisiana since Tuesday for some team building in preparations for their weekend series with the Shreveport Mudbugs.

What the team was able to build upon was the ability to counter punch after taking what appeared to be a gut punch.

After seeing a 2-0 lead evaporate, the IceRays threw the knockout punch, just seven seconds later and held off a furious rally to defeat the Mudbugs 3-2 Friday night.

Colin Vassallo tied the game at 2-2 with his third goal of the season at 1:25 of the third period.

But Connor Brust countered right back with his first goal of the year at 1:32 to put the IceRays on top for good.

“We just found a way. We didn’t sit back, IceRays head coach Sylvain Cloutier said. We went right back at them and we win the face off and Brust got a great shot and it was nice for the boys. We never quit and it was a great battle. Both teams played hard. Great hockey.”

IceRays goaltender Vilgot Holm was sensational and helped preserve the win, stopping 37 of 39 shots to improve to 2-3 on the season.

“We let Vilgot see the shots and when your goaltender can see the shots, they’re going to make the save,” Cloutier said. “Obviously at the end, we kind of sat back to defend our lead and not taking chances, but yeah, Vilgot did a great job.”

Zakhar Polshakov and Dylan Jensen netted goals as Corpus Christi improved to 4-6-0, 1SOL for nine points, tied for seventh place with the Amarillo Wranglers and Odessa Jackalopes.
Logan Heroux scored the other goal for Shreveport which fell to 6-4-0, 1SOL for 13 points, and tied for fourth in the NAHL South Division with the New Mexico Ice Wolves with 13 points.

The IceRays withstood strong pressure and being outshot 13-6 in the first period and went to the locker room locked in a scoreless battle.

The IceRays broke the ice early in the second on Polshakov’s second goal of the season at 1:54 of the second period off an assist by Anthony Cafarelli, his fifth of the season.

Jensen notched his second goal of the season at 6:53 off an assist by Stepan Kuznetsov.

Logan Heroux scored his fifth goal of the season, unassisted at 11:12 and the IceRays led 2-1 after two periods.

“We talked about playing with the lead a lot,” Cafarelli said. “We did give it up, but we kept everyone up on the bench and we were lucky to get one a couple of seconds after they tied the game up.”

Shreveport outshot Corpus Christi 39-23 including 13-3 in its comeback attempt in the third period.

“You got to do it for 60 minutes and they bought in to blocking shots and doing the little things,” Cloutier said.

The two teams will meet again Saturday night at 7:11 CT.

We know they’re going to come out hard tomorrow, so we’re going to have to be ready for that,” Cafarelli said.

After this weekends’ games in Shreveport, the IceRays will continue their long road trip with two games in Albuquerque, New Mexico against the Ice Wolves, Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21.

You can watch Saturday’s game on and can also catch it on Brewster Street Radio.

For more info on the IceRays visit