CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-0-0-0) opened the 2016-17 season with a 4-3 overtime win against the Wichita Falls Wildcats (0-0-2-0) on Thursday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The IceRays improved to 4-2-0-1 on opening night.
The IceRays began the scoring early at 1:44 of the first period when forward Mason Krueger re-directed a shot in front of the net coming from defenseman Keenan Spillum to start the season with a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats came back to tie the game, 1-1, at 11:04 when forward Ryan Burnett stuffed home a chance initially created by teammate and co-veteran Aleksi Poikola. Just over one minute later at 12:09 while on the power play, IceRays defenseman Cody Fleckenstein angled a hard pass into the left corner that bounced off the boards, off a Wildcats sticks and into the net to take back the lead, 2-1.
The lead doubled in the second period at 9:34 on another power play chance for the IceRays, this time forward David Thomson was set up for a one-time shot from the left circle to increase the road side’s lead to 3-1. The IceRays scored on two of their first three power play opportunities.
In the third period, the Wildcats made their comeback. At 3:04 on the power play, Wildcats forward Jonathan Bendorf knocked in his first of the season on a second chance play to bring the home side within one, 3-2. Then, at 13:32, Wildcats forward Ricky Carballo took advantage of two stretch play by the IceRays netminder to pop in a back door shot and tie the game, 3-3. The two teams were sent into overtime, and after the IceRays earned a power play, Thomson sealed the win with another one-time slap shot from the left circle to mark the 4-3 win. The IceRays finished the game going 3-for-6 on the power play.
IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (1-0-0) earned the win, stopping 29 of 32 shots, while Wildcats goaltender Evan Moyer (0-0-2) picked up his second-straight overtime loss, halting 28 of 32 shots. The IceRays compete in the midway game of their three game set against the Wildcats on Friday, Sep. 16 at 7:05 p.m. from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. exclusively on FASTHockey.com.
The IceRays open the 2016-17 home schedule on Friday, Oct. 14 against the Odessa Jackalopes at the American Bank Center. Purchase your 2016-17 season ticket membership ahead of opening night! Reserve yours by contacting the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).