Friday, 01.26.18 / 10:20 pm CT
In a very penalty-heavy game, the IceRays could not erase an early deficit and fell 6-2 at the hands of the Odessa Jackalopes.
Odessa was returning home after an eight-game road stretch, and embraced its homecoming with open arms. Following a half hour delay due to ice issues, the Jackalopes opened the scoring with a power play strike just 2:48 into the contest. Jared Christy was credited with the goal, his fourth in as many games since joining the Jacks.
Just six seconds into another power play, James Crossman snapped a screened shot from the left point. The puck fluttered over Jacob Acton’s blocker and into the top corner of the net, giving Crossman his first goal against the IceRays this season and doubling Odessa’s lead.
Twenty penalty minutes in total were called in the opening stanza, 14 of which were against the Rays. They went 3/5 on the penalty kill in the first 20 minutes, but only managed two first period shots due to how long they were shorthanded.
At 25:12, Evan Somoza fired the puck off Acton’s pad from the left circle. A big rebound bounced out to Peyton Frantti, who decided to make the extra pass rather than shoot. His pass was in Ricky Carballo’s wheelhouse, and he was able to tap it past Acton to triple Odessa’s lead.
Finally the Rays were able to strike. Garrett Hallford stepped into the offensive zone and took advantage of a sloppy Odessa breakout. He stole the puck and fed Jayson Dimizio a pass in the slot, and the IceRays veteran put the puck onto his backhand and one-handed a shot through Alex Camarre’s five-hole for his fifth goal of the season.
The buzz following Dimizio’s goal was promptly killed by the Jackalopes, who answered just 47 seconds later. Crossman released a wrist shot from the left point after holding the line, and Matt Brown passed by and deflected the shot past Acton to give Odessa a 4-1 advantage.
At 52:15, Dakota Concannon regenerated some life onto the Rays’ bench, ripping a shot from the slot to beat Camarre for his second goal of the season. However, Viktor Johansson and Zach Heintz scored within a 24 second span to put the IceRays’ comeback hopes out of reach.
Acton suffered his first regulation defeat against Odessa this season, stopping 35 of 41 Odessa shots. Camarre earned his 13th victory of the campaign, denying 26 of 28. The IceRays and Jackalopes will conclude the series tomorrow night at Ector County Coliseum. Puck drop is set for 7:11 pm. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (1230 AM, 95.1 FM, 96.1 FM).