CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (29-20-5) set a junior franchise record in wins during their 5-4 overtime victory against the Wichita Falls Wildcats (26-14-3) on Friday night from the American Bank Center. The win surpasses the record set by the 2012-13 squad, who finished with a 28-26-6 record.
After a scoreless first period, the floodgates opened in the second period. The IceRays jumped out first at 2:51 with the first-career NAHL goal by forward Landon Quinney on a one-time snap in the low slot coming from forward Maksim Dzhioshvili to take a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats answered back in an odd way at 8:56. Forward Nick Farmer dumped the puck in to IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren, who had trouble corralling the knuckling puck and allowed the Wildcats to tie the game, 1-1. With the IceRays on the power play Wildcats defenseman Matt Koch worked with forward Colin Staub to knock in his first shorthanded goal of the season at 9:41 and pump the Wildcats ahead, 2-1. Dzhioshvili found a centering pass in the low slot on the same power play at 10:05 to tie the game, 2-2. The Wildcats tacked on one more at 13:29 thanks to forward Austin Azzinnaro stabbing the puck through the crease to jump ahead 3-2 heading into the third period.
The Wildcats caused another penalty, and for the second-straight time the IceRays capitalized. At 12:33, forward Wes Michaud found an open puck at the right circle and sniped home the tying goal, 3-3. Just over one minute later at 13:56, Dzhioshvili forced the puck free off a faceoff draw and clamored toward the Wildcats net, waiting for an opening he soon found to give the IceRays a 4-3 lead. In the dying minutes of the game, the Wildcats tied the game, 4-4, at 18:49 with forward Colin Staub batting in the goal to send the game into overtime.
The IceRays needed just 39 seconds to net the game-winner, and forward Mason Krueger knocked in a one-time poke from the left circle to seal the win, 5-4. Lindgren (22-13-3) earned the win, saving 20 of 24 shots, while Wildcats goaltender Austin Shaw (23-7-2) grabbed the overtime loss, cutting down 37 of 42 shots. The IceRays look for the sweep in their season series finale against the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday, March 14 at 7:05 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.
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).