Coming off of a 4-1 loss on Friday night, the IceRays returned to the ice at American Bank Center looking to end a four game home stand at 2-2. A win against the New Mexico Ice Wolves on Saturday night would clinch the regular season series against the team from Albuquerque.
The IceRays found the scoreboard early into period number one. It was Cam Crolley finding the back of the net. The goal for Crolley was his first since October 16th against the same New Mexico team.
The Rays then had a chance to extend the lead just a little after the game’s opening goal as they went on the man-advantage. Instead, New Mexico struck on the penalty kill to even things at one aside, which remained the score throughout the first twenty minutes.
The middle frame of regulation was where the excitement was in both nights of the series. New Mexico struck for a three-goal second on Friday, and the IceRays did the same on Saturday night started off with a goal from Michael Casey. The goal was Casey’s second of the season, which the first came against New Mexico as well.
Goal number two of the period had looked like a broken up play when Lincoln Whitaker capitalized off of a New Mexico turnover. He dished the puck backdoor to Jack Wandmacher who slammed it home to give the Rays a 3-1 lead. The assist for Whitaker was his first point in the NAHL.
Before the fans at American Bank Center could blink, Corpus Christi was back on the attack. This time, it was Dom Foglia firing one toward the New Mexico cage and finding the back of the net. Foglia’s goal came just eleven second of game time after the Wandmacher goal making it the fastest two-goal spurt for the IceRays this season.
Corpus Christi took a 4-1 lead into the second intermission, but the Rays were not done scoring. As New Mexico did earlier in the game, the Rays took advantage of an opportunity on the penalty kill. Nathan Butler scored unassisted for his tenth goal and second shorthanded goal of the season.
The IceRays skated away with a 5-1 victory and a 4-2-2 record against New Mexico this season. With the Rays battling for a playoff spot, this is a matchup that could happen again in April as New Mexico still sits in first place.
After four straight at home, the IceRays now will start a four-game road trip in Shreveport starting on Friday, January 14th at 7:11 pm. Coverage for the Shreveport series will be found on Brewster Street Radio and HockeyTV.