CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays claim their second sweep of the season, defeating the Odessa Jackalopes 4-2 from the American Bank Center. The last IceRays sweep came just over a month ago on October 3 and 4 against the Wenatchee Wild.
For the second-straight game, the IceRays pushed ahead first in the opening period at 9:17, when forward Wes Michaud found a wide open Ryan Cusin waiting in the slot for a one-time blast by Jackalopes netminder Forbes Ploszaj to claim the 1-0 lead. Defenseman Anthony Cortese also grabbed an assist on the goal. After Jackalopes forward Tyler Nabozny was sent to the penalty box for head contact, it allowed forward Nate Bryer to tally on the power play with an open shot in the slot to move ahead, 2-0. Forwards Connor Bucsis and Connor Kelly claimed assists. The Jackalopes would answer just 30 seconds later when forward Ian Mansfield poked a loose puck by IceRays goaltender Andrew Lindgren to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
The second period became much more gritty for both squads, starting with Jackalopes forward Tyler Nabozny running over Lindgren, forcing defenseman Travis Howe to drop the gloves for the first time on home ice and the second time this season. After that altercation, the IceRays had a few power play chances, including a five-on-three opportunity, but they finally converted at 16:40 with precision passing from forwards Tanner Lomsnes and Cusin to find Michaud on the left wing with a wide open goal to spread the lead, 3-1. Michaud was hit late on the celebration by Jackalopes forward Nick Carbone, and so Lomsnes took exception to defend his forward.
The Jackalopes crept again within one, 3-2, late in the third period at 16:14 with defenseman Jake Hamilton’s first of the season. After a double-minor to forward Max Rasberg, Kelly would seal the win on the power play with the help of an Odessa defenseman kicking the puck into his own net to claim the 4-2 victory. Lomsnes and Bryer grabbed assists on the play.
The Jackalopes outshot the IceRays 26-25 in the contest, with Lindgren (7-3-2) claiming the win with 24 saves on 26 shots. Ploszaj (3-5-1) dropped to 0-3 against the IceRays this season, saving 21 of 25 shots.
The IceRays return to action on Wednesday, November 12 at 7:05 p.m. when they host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the first of 12 games for the South Texas Vo Tech Cup and a celebration of the American Bank Center’s 10th Anniversary. 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).