WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays (14-16-3) were marred in the second period and taken down 6-2 by the Wichita Falls Wildcats (27-5-3) on Saturday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
For the first time this season in six attempts, the IceRays scored the game’s opening goal. Defenseman Colton Meekhof continued with his four-game scoring streak by plugging in the opening tally at 4:18 to give the IceRays a 1-0 lead. Despite the IceRays soon going on the power play, shorthanded play continued to haunt the road side. Wildcats forward Adam Goodsir takes the puck himself to tie the game, 1-1, at 6:14 playing down a skater. In the late stages of the period, defenseman Michael Bevilacqua rifled a shot from the right wall that found a way through the netminder to take a 2-1 lead at 19:25 for their first lead after a period this season.
The turning point of the game came when IceRays forward Brendan Miller was called for a five-minute major for fighting, putting the Wildcats on a continuous power play. They only converted once, but that goal at 12:16 by forward Jonathan Lazarus tied the game, 2-2. With the IceRays seemingly out of sorts, the Wildcats pressed and disrupted play in front of the IceRays net. Wildcats forward Garrett Van Wyhe poked a second-chance through the crease to take the 3-2 lead at 15:17. Just 31 seconds later at 15:49, Wildcats forward Adam Goodsir found a similar tally to double the lead, 4-2. Less than two minutes after that, Wildcats forward Erich Jaeger grabbed his first of the night with another rebound goal at 17:08 to move to a 5-2 lead.
The IceRays started the third period with a 5-on-3 power play but could not convert on the attempt. In the final seconds, Lazarus found his second with a re-direction toward the backdoor of the IceRays net to pick up the final goal at 19:57 for a 6-2 defeat of the IceRays. Wildcats netminder Justin Kapelmaster (20-3-1) earned the win, stopping 29 of 31 shots, while IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (5-7-1) saved 32 of 38 shots in the loss. The IceRays enter their final weekend of the six-game road trip on Friday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. to begin the first trip to the NYTEX Sportscentre against the Lone Star Brahmas. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and FASTHockey.
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Thursday, Jan. 21 for the first of two games against the Topeka RoadRunners. Contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK or go to www.goicerays.com for details on season tickets along with pricing and seating. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).
(Cover photo: Cody Wooten, Optic Photography)