CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (10-11-1-2) saw the game slip away in the third period, falling 4-2 to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (15-6-2-0) on Saturday night at the American Bank Center.
The IceRays power play unit came out strong in the opening period and cashed in on their first opportunity. IceRays newcomer Griffin Loughran fed center David Thomson on the back door for a one-time finish at 6:52 to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. The Wildcats came back with an answer in the final minutes of the second period with two goals separated by just 25 seconds thanks to defenseman Jonathan Waring at 16:43 and forward C.J. Regula at 17:08 on an odd-man rush to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
Aggression kicked into high gear in the middle portion, and despite both teams gaining a combined five power plays in the second period, the lone goal came on even strength. IceRays forward Brad Power stole the puck coming off the bench and fed forward Cole Gammer from behind the Wildcats net for an open finish at 7:17 to knot the game back up, 2-2.
The Wildcats took control of the third period as tempers hit a breaking point. At 5:02, Wildcats forward Ilya Skvortsov created an offensive opportunity and was rewarded to nudge ahead, 3-2. After a penalty on the IceRays late in the game, Wildcats forward Jonathan Bendorf beat a sprawling IceRays netminder on a rebound at 15:13 while on the man-advantage to double the lead, 4-2, and ensure a Wildcats win.
Wildcats goaltender Jared Dempsey (8-1-0) earned the win, stopping 34 of 36 shots, while IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (5-9-1) picked up the loss, turning away 33 of 37 shots. The IceRays close the weekend against the Wildcats on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:05 p.m. from the American Bank Center on Sunday Funday with $1 hot dogs, popcorn and sodas. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com and the American Bank Center Box Office.
Season memberships for the 2016-17 season are still available with full and partial season plans. 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), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).