CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays powered through the flu that plagued the team through the last eight days to defeat the Amarillo Bulls 8-4 from the American Bank Center. The IceRays improve to seven-straight wins at home dating back to November 7 against the Odessa Jackalopes.
The IceRays struck first at 2:14 of the first period on a lively rebound coming off a Nate Colwell shot that found the stick of forward Mason Krueger to slot the game’s first and a 1-0 IceRays lead. Offensive power continued for the IceRays at 7:00 when defenseman Travis Howe and forward Connor Kelly were able to work the puck into the slot for forward Wes Michaud to score his team-leading thirteenth of the year to double the lead, 2-0. Just 39 seconds later, Kelly pushed the IceRays to a 3-0 lead with the help of forward Griff Jeszka. The Bulls would answer the call at 10:51 with forward Trent Dillinger’s first goal of the year to send the game 3-1 IceRays heading into the first intermission.
The two sides would once again combine for four goals in a frame, and Krueger found twine to lead off his second-straight period at 2:30 of the second period to extend the lead, 4-1, and helping Colwell and forward Tyler Johnson to their second assists of the game. At 7:57, Michaud found defenseman Anthony Cortese in the slot to rifle a chance home and move the lead to four, 5-1. The Bulls were able to answer at 12:10 with hard pursuit by forward Charlie Combs to cut the lead to 5-2. For the first time this season, forward Brad LeLievre was able to find the back of the net with a tip-in coming across the slot from linemate Nathan Bryer to help the IceRays to a 6-2 lead.
In the third, the Bulls pounced first at 6:36 with forward Riley Christensen tallying to cut the IceRays lead back to three, 6-3. Amarillo forward Luke Novak slotted an odd angle shot from the right wing at 14:06 to fool IceRays netminder Luke Pickar and drop the lead to 6-4. With netminder Jacob Weatherly pulled late in the third period and the IceRays on a penalty kill, forward Tanner Lomsnes threw a home run pass to clear the zone that also found the empty net to score the team’s first shorthanded goal and move the lead to 7-4. One final goal was added when LeLievre came in unassisted to hit top shelf and seal the win, 8-4/
Pickar (4-4-2) earned the win, stopping 30 of 34 shots on the night, while Weatherly (4-6-2) picked up the loss in a 22-save effort on 26 shots. Anton Martinsson started the game for Amarillo and lasted only 7:39 while stopping five shots on eight attempts.
The IceRays go for the sweep on Friday, December 12 against the Amarillo Bulls from the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown to Faceoff on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 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 (IceRays TV).