AMARILLO, TX – The Corpus Christi IceRays could not hold onto two separate one-goal leads and fell to the Amarillo Bulls, 6-3, at the Cal Farley Coliseum on Sunday night. With the win, Amarillo is now 24-8-3 (51 points) on the season while the IceRays fall to 16-22-2 (34 points) overall. The ‘Rays are now 0-4-0 against Amarillo this season.
Michael Benedict, Joe Smereck, and Petr Stloukal tallied for the IceRays in the loss.
Corpus Christi tried to quiet the large crowd with a strong first period that put the IceRays ahead after twenty minutes of play. Benedict (19) scored on the fourth Corpus Christi power-play opportunity of the first period at the 11:41 mark when his intended pass from the side boards deflected off Nikifor Szczerba’s right pad and into the back of the net. Josh Obregon earned an assist. The Bulls evened the score 16:20 into the period when Sean Keane’s shot was rebounded onto the stick of Cody Freeman (18) who beat Pheonix Copley high over the shoulder. However, a determined IceRays squad regained the lead, 2-1, at the 19:22 mark when Smereck (12) scored his second goal of the weekend, poking a loose puck through Szczerba’s pads. Jordan Miller and Stloukal assisted on the tally. The IceRays outshot the Bulls, 17-11.
Amarillo changed the momentum in the second period and scored three times to take a 4-2 lead after two periods. Joe Kozlak (11) tied the game at 7:41 mark as his shot from the slot fluttered past Copley. Matt Johnson (17) made it 3-2 Amarillo, 9:15 into the period, when his backhanded shot snuck behind Copley. It was a power-play goal and was assisted by Keane and Karl Beckman. The Bulls extended their lead to 4-2 when Freeman (19) scored his second of the night at the 12:21 mark assisted by Dan Sherer after a defensive zone turnover in the IceRays’ zone. Amarillo held the two-goal advantage into the third period. Shots were 16-7 in favor of the Bulls.
The Bulls scored twice once from Kozlak (12, 4:25) and once from Derek Hills (6, 5:09) to extend their lead to 6-2. Corpus Christi scored as the buzzer sounded ending the game as Stloukal (4) blasted a slap shot past Szczerba to make the final score 6-3. Final shots were 46-31 in favor of Amarillo. Corpus Christi went 2-10 on the power play while the Bulls went 3-13.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
- Cody Freeman (2-1-3)
- Joe Kozlak (2-0-2)
- Sean Keane (0-2-2)
Corpus Christi heads home for two games against Amarillo on Friday, January 28th and Saturday January 29th. Fans can catch the pre-game show on the flagship home of the IceRays, News/Talk 1440 KEYS, www.1440KEYS.com, with the voice of the IceRays, Ryan Holt, beginning at 6:50 PM. The game will be available online through the league’s pay-per-view website, www.fasthockey.com. For more information call the Rays’ front office at 361.814.PUCK (7825) or crash the net at www.goicerays.com.
“THE NEW ICERAYS…TOMORROW’S STARS”