Friday, 01.05.18 / 10:14 pm CT
Photo: Rebekah Bing
Returning for their last series at NYTEX Sports Centre his season, the IceRays overcame an early deficit and defeated the Brahmas 4-3 in overtime.
Bud Winter had an opportunity to score early after Brendan Miller fed him a crisp pass in the slot, but Winter’s heavy wrist shot was denied by Mitchell Gibson. Winter was checked from behind after releasing the shot, crashing into Gibson as a result. He was given a roughing penalty and the Rays went to the penalty kill.
With just six seconds remaining on the Brahmas’ power play, Austin Bottrell fired a shot from the right circle which was redirected past Chad Veltri by Justin Addamo, giving Lone Star a 1-0 lead.
The Rays nearly responded after going to two power plays of their own, but they couldn’t solve Gibson in the first period. Blake Coffey fired three slap shots from the blue line, all of which led to either deflections or second chances.
Entering the second period leading 1-0, the Brahmas doubled their advantage after getting away with a high-sticking penalty in a puck battle behind the Corpus Christi net. Despite Kaelan Taylor’s plea, the goal stood and the Brahmas had a 2-0 edge.
A recurring theme for the IceRays throughout their six-game point streak has been their resilience and their ability to keep their heads up after falling behind. They rallied three separate times to erase deficits in Shreveport on Tuesday night, and they did so again in North Richland Hills on Friday.
Aleksi Peltonen stole the puck at center ice in the middle of a Lone Star line change. He then rushed down the right wing with Rylee St. Onge on his left. Peltonen fed St. Onge a cross-crease pass, and the red-hot winger tapped the puck into the open net.
Five minutes later, St. Onge hopped onto the bench after his shift and Jayson Dimizio replaced him. With the line change underway, Peltonen and Julian Makary bought time for reinforcements to arrive in the offensive zone. Makary set up Dimizio with a pass in the slot, and the veteran rifled a wrist shot past Gibson to tie the game 2-2.
At 34:06, Makary dished another nice pass to a teammate for an assist. He found St. Onge at the edge of the left circle with a feed from the left half wall, and St. Onge sniped a shot inside the left post for his second goal of the game, and his second straight multi-goal performance.
Early in the third period, Montambault raced after a fluttering puck in the Corpus Christi zone. From the right corner, he blasted a slap shot from a severe angle and somehow beat Veltri over the shoulder to tie the game at three. For the tenth time in their last sixteen games, the Rays headed to extra time.
Coffey found himself with an opportunity to be the back-to-back overtime hero against Lone Star, but he was denied on his breakaway by Gibson’s glove. Peltonen redeemed Coffey, sneaking the puck across the goal line with a backhand shot on his breakaway for his fourth point of the night.
Veltri earned his 12th victory of the season in his first game back from an illness, stopping 30 of Lone Star’s 33 shots. Gibson was charged with his fifth overtime defeat, halting 23 of 27. The IceRays will finish their final series in Lone Star this season tomorrow night. Puck drops at 7:30 pm CT and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and SportsRadio Corpus Christi.