NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (27-20-5) surge back in the third period to come up close, but the Lone Star Brahmas (35-11-7) hold on for the 3-2 win on Saturday night from the NYTEX Sports Center. The IceRays fail to win in four appearances from the NYTEX Sports Center this season.
The Brahmas took charge in the first period with two early goals to knock the IceRays back. At 1:26, forwards Ludvig Larsson was helped directly by forward Sebastian Vidmar to find the opening tally for the second-straight night, giving Lone Star a 1-0 lead. The second came at 6:33 with a hard shot from defenseman Alexey Solovyev at the left point, sailing through traffic to double the lead, 2-0. IceRays goaltender was pulled after that goal, giving way to Andrew Lindgren after saving one shot on three attempts.
The IceRays found themselves on the penalty kill three times in the second period, and eventually the Brahmas were able to convert. At 13:17, Vidmar collected a loose puck, spun up the right circle, and beat by Lindgren short-side to triple the lead, 3-0. Lindgren made a few big saves in the period to keep the Brahmas at-bay on rebound chances.
The third period started with a strong charge by the IceRays with a quick goal by defenseman Taylor Karel only 45 seconds into the frame to get the IceRays on the board, 3-1. That goal is also the first for Karel, and he is the last player to tally in an IceRays uniform on the active roster. Later on at 6:50, pressure surged from the IceRays, and forward Frankie Melton found a lot of time in the left circle to pick his spot and snipe the puck home, bringing the IceRays within one, 3-2. The IceRays grabbed a late power play, and despite a six-on-four advantage could not equalize.
Brahmas netminder Jake Kupsky (16-4-3) nets the win, stopping 16 of 18 shots. Lindgren (20-13-3) records the loss, saving 21 of 22 shots in relief of Pickar, who failed to stop a shot on two attempts. The IceRays head back home to conclude their season series with the Lone Star Brahmas on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:05 p.m. from the American Bank Center on Country Night. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.
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