SHREVEPORT, La – The Corpus Christi IceRays (2-0) scored four goals in the second period and sank the Shreveport Mudbugs (0-2) 5-3 on Saturday night from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. The IceRays own a 2-0 series lead and need just one win to claim the South Division Semifinals and advance to the divisional final for the first time in junior franchise history.
The Mudbugs came out of the gates with a hard-pressed first period and were rewarded with their first lead of the series. At 11:54, Mudbugs forward Jack Jaunich deflected a shot from in front of the IceRays net passed the waiting goaltender to open up a 1-0 lead.
A penalty crossing into the second period started the IceRays on the right foot and converted within the first four minutes. IceRays forward David Baskerville stabbed home a rebound coming off the netminder at 3:56 to tie the game at 1-1. Shortly after at 4:31, the IceRays went up on the power play, and Nathan Bryer clapped home a loose puck on a one-time shot from the high slot to take the lead, 2-1. Bryer added a second later in the frame at 7:45 when he was set up for another one-time shot by a shielding Brendan Miller in front of the net for a 3-1 lead. The Mudbugs looked for an answer and found one just passed midway through the game at 10:08 when defenseman Kristaps Jakobsons knocked home a rebound off the right side of the net to draw within one, 3-2. IceRays forward Larry Jungwirth was set up in the far right circle by a shielding Griffin Loughran, putting the puck in an open net at 12:41 to double the lead, 4-2. Mudbugs netminder Dylan Lubbesmeyer was pulled in favor of John Roberts after that goal.
The IceRays continued on early in the third period at 2:35 when IceRays center David Thomson picked the puck off a Mudbugs defenseman for a five-hole shot on Roberts to triple the lead, 5-2. Mudbugs defenseman Croix Evingson found a loose puck in the high slot and gave the Mudbugs life with a goal at 8:34 to draw within two, 5-3. The IceRays held off the Mudbugs to the final horn, taking the 5-3 win and both games in Shreveport.
IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (2-0) earned the win, turning aside 45 of 48 shots. Lubbesmeyer (0-2) picked up the loss, halting 16 of 20 shots in 32:41 minutes, and Roberts stopped eight of nine shots in 27:19 of relief. The IceRays return to the American Bank Center for Game 3 of the South Division Semifinals against the Mudbugs on Wednesday, Apr. 19 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com and the American Bank Center Box Office. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and Hockey TV.
Tickets for the 2017 South Division Semifinals are on sale by heading to Ticketmaster.com or the American Bank Center Box Office. For groups or suites, contact 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).