ODESSA, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (28-17-3-4) could not keep their tight lead in the third period, falling 3-2 to the Odessa Jackalopes (20-25-5-1) on Friday night from the Ector County Coliseum.
The IceRays did not need much time to tack on the game’s first goal. Just 40 seconds in, IceRays forward Matt Novo found forward Cole Gammer in the right circle for a snipe shot on an odd-man rush to take the 1-0 lead. The Jackalopes nearly tied the game midway through the first period, but contact on the IceRays netminder wiped out the tally and kept the game at the same scoreline.
The first power play game for the IceRays came in the second period, and on that chance they stashed in a goal. At 2:59, IceRays forward Brendan Miller jammed home a loose puck just by the goaltender to double the lead, 2-0. The Jackalopes did find their first goal of the contest at 10:08 of the second period with a crossing feed to forward Connor Stuart for a one-time shot on the back door to cut the lead in half, 2-1. IceRays defenseman Logan Gestro was forced into a fight with Jackalopes forward Ryan MacKellar in the back half of the frame in an attempt to keep the home momentum.
That combination of a goal and fight gave the Jackalopes life in the third period with two swift answers. At 5:23, Jackalopes forward Chris Donaldson dipped around the netminder on a semi-breakaway to tie the game at 2-2. His goal was followed up by forward Levi Wunder on a full breakaway goal at 6:37 to edge ahead 3-2. The IceRays made a push in the final minutes of the contest to force overtime, but the Jackalopes held on for the win.
Jackalopes goaltender Jonny Hogue (13-13-3) earned the win, turning down 34 of 36 shots, while IceRays netminder Camden Burggrabe (9-6-2) picked up the loss, stopping 32 of 35 shots. The IceRays finish their season series against the Odessa Jackalopes on Saturday, Mar. 18 at 7:05 p.m. from the Ector County Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and Hockey TV.
The IceRays open a two-game weekend with the Lone Star Brahmas on Thursday, Mar. 23 at 7:05 p.m. from the American Bank Center for the final buy-one, get-one free game of the season. Join the IceRays in their push for the 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs and pick up seats for the final games of the 2016-17 season by calling 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), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).