CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Three goals in the second period by Josh Haverstrom, Sam Piazza, and Kyle Bauman proved to be the difference on Saturday night as the Wichita Falls Wildcats defeated the Corpus Christi IceRays 3-1 inside the American Bank Center.
In the first period both sides went back and forth with opportunities but both Forbes Ploszaj and David Zevnik stood on their heads to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes of play. Both sides combined for 23 minutes in penalties during the first period.
In the second frame, the Wildcats took over scoring three goals to take a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes of action. The goal that broke the scoreless game came off the stick of Josh Haverstrom for a 1-0 lead. At the 3:52 mark of the period, Haverstrom fired a shot on net that just squeaked through the pads of Ploszaj with the lone assist going to Tyler Ledford.
Later in the period, Wichita Falls took a penalty and put the IceRays on the power-play, but it was the team down a skater who converted. Sam Piazza broke down the left wing wall and fired a wrist shot that beat Ploszaj wide to give the ‘Cate a 2-0 with the only assist going to Ledford once again at 9:12 of the second.
The third goal came with only 3:04 left in the middle period as Rudy Junda and Josh Haverstrom teamed up with a great passing play that Kyle Bauman finished by one-timing the puck by a sprawling Forbes Ploszaj for a 3-0 Wildcat lead at the end of 40 minutes of action. Through two periods, the ‘Cats out shot Corpus Christi 32-14.
In the third period the IceRays put 11 shots on the net of David Zevnik and he denied them all until 30 seconds remained in the game when Nick Monfils gave the puck to Grant Hutton at the blueline who fired it by Zevnik to split up the shutout. It was Hutton’s fifth goal of the season.
The loss was the second in a row for the IceRays while Forbes Ploszaj stopped 34 of 37 shots on net.
The IceRays return home as they welcome in Rio Grande Valley for the first time this year on Friday night. Puck drops at 7:05PM, coverage begins at 6:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on Sportsjuice.com, ustream.com, and fasthockey.com. Click LISTEN LIVE on the IceRays website for more information.
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)