SOLDOTNA, ALASKA – In a back and forth game, the Kenai River Brown Bears scored late in regulation to force overtime, then picked up the game winner at 2:46 of the extra time for a 4-3 win over the Corpus Christi IceRays on Saturday night inside the Soldotna Sports Center.
After no scoring in the first period, the two teams combined for 85 minutes of no goals. That changed in the second period as Martin Hojbjerg took the puck up the left side of the ice, cutting through the Brown Bears defense letting a wrist shot go from the top of the right wing circle that beat goaltender Kris Oldham on the blocker side for a 1-0 lead just 1:47 into the period. It was Hojbjerg’s 3rd tally on the season.
Corpus Christi moved out to a two goal advantage at the 2:52 mark of the middle frame. Tony Roisum battled for a loose puck inside the right wing circle. After pulling it free, Roisum spun a shot to the net that changed direction and found a way behind Oldham for a 2-0 IceRays lead. The goal was Roisum’s 3rd on the year, assisted by Lucas Bennett.
As the second period wound down the Brown Bears finally got on the board. The original shot taken by Matt Rudin was denied by IceRays goaltender Forbes Ploszaj, however the rebound went right to an awaiting Brad LeLievre who wristed the shot upstairs to pull Kenai River within a goal with just 1:45 left in the period.
At 13:47 of the third period, Nate Colwell went to the front of the net from the right wing circle, going through the IceRays defense and backhanding the puck by Ploszaj to tie the game 2-2.
Corpus Christi caught a break and it looked like the goal was the game winner. Maurin Bouvet centered a pass from the goal line that deflected off a skate and went through the legs of Oldham to put the ‘Rays up 3-2 with only 1:38 left in the game.
With the goaltender pulled and extra attacker on the ice, Jake Bushey fired a shot through a screen from the top of the circles that beat Ploszaj on the blocker side tying the game with only 1:13 remaining in regulation. The lone assist was credited to Zack Zulkanycz.
In overtime, it was a deflected shot that provided Kenai River with the game winner. A shot from the point taken by went off a body in front of the net and trickled by Forbes Ploszaj at the 2:46 mark of OT. The goal was credited to Vincent Stefan with the assists going to Albin Karlsson and Austin Chavez.
Ploszaj denied 19 of 23 shots in the loss.
The IceRays are on the road next weekend to take on the Amarillo Bulls. Puck drops at 7:05PM, coverage begins at 6:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on 91.1FM KSGR, ksgr.org, ustream.com, and fasthockey.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 the team’s Youtube channel ICERAYS TV (@goicerays)