CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays looked strong on both ends of the ice, handing the Odessa Jackalopes the loss in a 5-1 win from the American Bank Center. The game marks their largest margin of victory thus far, surpassing their old season-high of three.
While the IceRays surged offensively in the first period, it was forward Wes Michaud that pushed the IceRays ahead with two tallies late in the period. At 16:02, a battle for a loose puck commenced in front of Jackalopes goaltender Forbes Ploszaj, with multiple players stabbing at the chance, and Michaud had the final poke through Ploszaj to jump ahead, 1-0. Forwards Tanner Lomsnes and defenseman Anthony Cortese grabbed assists on the play. The second goal came at 19:03 of the same period when Michaud took the puck right to Ploszaj one-on-one, and Michaud slid it through the netminder for his unassisted goal to help the IceRays double the lead, 2-0. The IceRays outshot the Jackalopes 16-3 in that period.
Two more came unanswered in the second period for the IceRays, also after the midway mark. After Jackalopes defenseman Lane Valimont went to the box for hooking, a beautiful feed from Michaud and Lomsnes to co-forward Ryan Cusin at 11:07 on the back door of the net aided in his first power play goal of the year, which stretched the lead to three, 3-0. Forward Nic LaBurn added the other tally of the period at 13:18 on a second chance effort to the right of the net to make it 4-0. Forwards Nathan Bryer and Nate Colwell added assists.
The scoring didn’t stop there, as Bryer had one of the best goals of the season at 12:50 of the third period, dancing through a defender and around Ploszaj to the far side on the back hand to make the lead insurmountable, 5-1. The Jackalopes would only score one goal on the night, coming at 15:56. A clearing attempt by Jackalopes defenseman Jesse Junttila took an odd edge, and as IceRays netminder Luke Pickar came out to play the puck, the rubber slid into the goal to finish the scoring, 5-1.
The IceRays outshot the Jackalopes 38-31, making it just the fourth time they’ve outshot an opponent this season. Pickar (2-3-2) picked up the win, turning aside 30 of 31 shots faced, and Ploszaj (3-4-1) drops to 0-2 against the IceRays this season, saving 33 of 38 shots.
The IceRays will finish the weekend set on Saturday, November 8 at 7:05 p.m. against the Odessa Jackalopes on Pink In The Rink. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and on 87.7 FM 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), and YouTube (IceRays TV).