AMARILLO, TX – Two goals by Malo Ville was not enough for Corpus Christi on Friday night as the Amarillo Bulls doubled up the IceRays with a 6-3 win in front of 2,041 fans inside the Amarillo Civic Center.
Corpus Christi put the top power-play on the man advantage at 11:18 of the opening period on a Jake McNamara minor penalty. Grant Hutton took the puck inside his own zone and lifted it off the top of the glass out to the neutral zone. Malo Ville went right around the defense and picked up the loose puck for a breakaway beating Bulls goaltender Collin Delia on the backhand for a 1-0 lead at 12:54 of the first period of play. The goal was Ville’s third on the season.
Amarillo answered right back just 12 seconds late while still on the power-play. Ben Jentsch took a pass at the center of the blueline ripping the shot to the left of Forbes Ploszaj and banked off the inside of the post an into the net for just his second tally on the year assisted by Brett Szajner at the 13:06 mark of period one to knot the game up 1-1.
The Bulls took their first lead of the night with only 35 seconds remaining in the first period. Brett Szajner took a shot from the point that was originally stopped by the left leg pad of Forbes Ploszaj however the rebound went right to an oncoming Brendan McGuire who was coming off the bench on a line change. McGuire picked up the loose puck and fired it by a diving Ploszaj for a 2-1 Amarillo lead. It was his third goal on the year and assisted by Szajner and Ryan Stevens.
Just 3:30 into the second period, the defending National Champions took a 3-1 lead as Brendan Vetter picked up a loose puck at the right point and let go a slapshot that went by the right arm of Ploszaj and just inside the right post for the two goal lead. It was Vetter’s fifth goal of the campaign and assists were given to Timmy Moore and Mitchell McPherson.
Like Amarillo did in the first period, Corpus Christi answered back quickly to decrease the deficit to a single goal. Malo Ville let go a hard shot from the left wing wall that beat Collin Delia, unassisted, at 4:28 of the period and the Bulls lead was now only 3-2. The goal was Ville’s second of the game and fourth of the season.
Brady Ferguson regained that two goal lead for Amarillo on a jam up in front of Forbes Ploszaj. Ferguson picked up a rebound and beat Ploszaj with his eighth mark on the year with helpers from Carter Penzien and Brendan Vetter to give the Bulls a 4-2 advantage with 10:03 remaining in the second period of action.
After the Ferguson goal, Mike Davis was given a penalty shot while on a short-handed breakaway. Ploszaj made the save to keep the Amarillo lead at 4-2. It was one of several break-away chances he denied on the night.
Late in the second period Elijiah Barriga recorded his first NAHL goal in just his third game advancing Amarillo out to a 5-2 lead. The assists were by Brendan McGuire and Patrick Pollock.
In the final period of play, a great passing play gave the IceRays life when Luke McDiarmid found Tony Roisum below the goal line. Roisum one-touched the puck right out to Nick Monfils who buried his fifth on the season to pull the ‘Rays within a pair. The Bulls lead was down to 5-3 with the Monfils goal at 6:47 of the third frame.
In the end, Mitchell McPherson tapped in an empty net goal to seal a 6-3 Bulls win.
The IceRays finish out the weekend series at Amarillo tomorrow night to take on the 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. Click “Listen Live” on the IceRays website for more information.
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