The first period was a very swift 20 minutes of action, but the IceRays jumped ahead before the midway mark. Following a Wildcats penalty, defenseman Anthony Cortese rifled a shot from the left point to give the IceRays a 1-0 lead at 7:37. His goal ended up being the lone tally of the period.
The IceRays took a power play into the second period and started the fireworks with a power play goal. Forward Tanner Lomsnes tucks in a shot over netminder David Zevnik at 1:26 to move ahead, 2-0. The Wildcats answered with back-to-back goals starting at 2:24 with Kevin Charyszyn knocking a shot to cut the lead in half, 2-1. The home side drew even, 2-2, at 5:23 thanks to a power play goal by forward Max Reisinger. The IceRays pushed back again in the period when Cortese scored his second goal of the night at7:20 to regain the lead, 3-2. At 9:18, the IceRays broke out on a two-on-one rush, and forward Nathan Bryer received a centering pass from forward Maksim Dzhioshvili and chipped it high over Zevnik to jump back to a two-goal lead, 4-2.. Goaltender Austin Shaw would replace Zevnik after that goal. Another answer came for the Wildcats at 11:39 with a second power play goal, this one coming from forward Nick Farmer to knock down the lead, 4-3. Late in the second period at 19:22, IceRays defenseman Trevor Heuser took a shot from the right point saved initially by Shaw, but forward Matt Colford was there to stuff it home and take a 5-3 lead heading into the second intermission.
The Wildcats pushed across one goal in the third period. Forward Tommy Apap pushed the puck through a scrum in front of IceRays netminder Luke Pickar to draw within one, 5-4. The IceRays were outshot 10-1 in the third frame but held on to claim the 5-4 win. Pickar (6-5-2) earned the win, saving 18 of 22 shots. Shaw (16-6-0) grabbed the loss turning aside four of five shots in 29:54 of relief, and starter Zevnik stopped nine of 13 shots.
The IceRays head back on the road to begin their first of two three-game sets this season next Thursday, January 29 against the Odessa Jackalopes at 7:05 p.m. from Ector County Coliseum. Coverage begins at6:50 p.m. on KSIX (1230 AM, 96.1 FM, & 103.3 FM) and FASTHockey.com.Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for season and individual ticket details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com. Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), and Vine (@goicerays).