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IceRays Win 5-2 to Force Split in Odessa

The IceRays did not get the result they wanted in game one of the two game series against Odessa.  Corpus Christi looked to bounce back on night number two of the series.

In the first period, the Rays struck first with a shot from Kevin O’Keefe getting deflected by Charlie Merkley on the way finding the back of the net.  The Merkley goal came just fifteen seconds into the game.  It was the fifth goal of the season for the alternate captain for Corpus Christi.

Eight minutes later, Corpus Christi found themselves on the man-advantage.  With the first unit struggling to find offensive zone time, the second hit the ice.  On a rush into the zone, Contreras generated speed and tried to find Cam Crolley back door.  Crolley got tied up just in time for the Jackalopes, but luckily for the Rays, there was a player trailing the play.  Charlie Merkley slammed it home to give Corpus Christi a 2-0 lead and himself his second on the night.

Odessa answered back before the end of period number one, and the IceRays took a 2-1 lead into intermission number one.  Over halfway through period number two, Odessa got a goal to even things at two aside from Duclair, his second on the night.

Two and a half minutes following the Odessa tying goal, Corpus Christi answered with an absolute snipe off of the stick of Dom Foglia.  The Foglia goal gave the lead back to the Rays at 3-2, which they took into the second intermission.

In the third, there were ups and downs, but the IceRays lead prevailed throughout with a goal coming from Danny Nekhamiyev to extend the lead to 4-2.  Nekhamiyev has four points in four games against Odessa this season.

Charlie Merkley added an empty netter to finish it off for the Rays at 5-2 and to complete the hat trick for the forward.  This is the second hat trick of the season for the IceRays with the first going to Braden Rourke in December.  The win also marks the fifth consecutive start that Stefan Carney recorded a win in net.

The IceRays will battle with Odessa again next week at American Bank Center for a three-game series starting on Thursday.  Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Corpus Christi.  Tickets are available online on Ticketmaster or at the American Bank Center box office.