Saturday, 12.16.17 / 10:03 pm CT
The IceRays’ offense came to life on Saturday, netting seven goals en route to a 7-3 victory over the Odessa Jackalopes.
A tumultuous start was on hand on Saturday night, as both teams were looking to make a clear statement heading into the holiday break. Chad Veltri and Alex Camarre were challenged early and often, and it was the latter who blinked first.
At 9:18, CJ Regula fed Matt Acciaioli a nice pass at the bottom of the left circle. The veteran IceRay tapped a shot on net quickly, forcing Camarre to make a reactionary save. On the rebound, Angus Scott pounced and shoveled the puck home for his third goal of the season.
Noah Roofe dropped the gloves with Evan Somoza at 10:54, jabbing him with a handful of haymakers to the jaw. The two of them went tumbling shortly thereafter, giving a substantial boost of momentum to both sides. However, the Rays capitalized off of it. Just ten seconds after the donnybrook, Brendan Miller charged down the right side and fired a heavy backhand shot past Camarre to double the Rays’ lead.
At the end of the first period, Eric Huss tapped a shot past Veltri on a 2-on-1, despite a strong defensive stick-check made by Regula.
Only two and a half minutes into the following stanza, Rylee St. Onge chased down a loose puck in the Jackalopes’ zone. Using his speed, he outraced the opposition and whipped the puck across the crease, spotting an open Miller backdoor. The IceRays Captain buried his second goal of the game, tucking it through Camarre’s five-hole.
Three minutes later, Regula weaved along the goal line in tight quarters. He slipped another nice pass into the slot, giving Matt Novo a point-blank opportunity. Having been robbed on multiple occasions on Friday night, Novo rifled the puck inside the right post and snapped a long drought with a well-deserved goal.
Ricky Carballo responded by tipping a long point shot taken by James Crossman just seconds after an Odessa power play. Carballo’s deflection made the score 4-2 in favor of Corpus Christi, which was the score line heading into the closing period.
Somoza gave the Rays a scare early in the third, scoring on a tap-in goal just a minute into the closing frame to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick.
Despite the fright, Corpus Christi roared back with three unanswered goals. Larry Jungwirth deflected a Michal Steinocher point shot past Camarre, which many Odessa players believed to have been tipped by a high stick. The goal stood, and the Rays had regained some insurance.
Seven minutes later, Matt Acciaioli gave Jungwirth a nice slap-pass on a Corpus Christi power play. Jungwirth deked to his forehand and roofed his shot over Camarre to snap a long power play drought for the Rays. Garrett Hallford added an exclamation point on the weekend, sniping a shorthanded goal into the top right corner of the net to make the score 7-3.
Veltri was given plenty of goal support, but still had a solid game. He made 32 of a possible 35 saves, earning his 11th victory of the season. Camarre was given his fourth regulation defeat of the season, stopping 33 of 40. The IceRays will head home for the holidays and return to the American Bank Center on Thursday, December 28th to host the Shreveport Mudbugs. Puck drop is set for 7:05 pm CT.