Friday, 02.16.18 / 9:51 pm CT
Photo: Bryan Williams
Battling the Topeka RoadRunners for the first time in over three months, the IceRays had another dominant defensive game and cruised to a 4-0 victory on Boy Scout Night.
It only took the IceRays 89 seconds to take advantage of Topeka’s rusty legs, as Matt Acciaioli slung a wrist shot from the left point to beat Emil Gransøe through his five-hole. The IceRays’ top-scoring defenseman scored his fourth goal and 25th point on the season with the strike.
The IceRays went on their first power play at 13:50 after an Adrian Elefalk slashing penalty was called, but they were unable to convert. Chad Veltri stopped all five Topeka shots in the first 20 minutes.
Both teams continued their prominence on the penalty kill in the second period, each fighting off a pair of two minute minors to remain perfect on the night.
At 32:49, Pavel Koreshkov secured possession of the puck at center ice and raced down the right wing and into the offensive zone. He cut into the mid-slot and released a wrist shot across the grain, picking the corner over Gransøe’s glove. The 17-year-old Russian put his elite-end talent on display with his speed, stickhandling, and accurate wrist shot, and he doubled the Rays’ advantage with his fourth goal of the season.
Going back to the man-advantage at 47:55 after a Keenan Johnson checking-from-behind penalty, the IceRays cycled the puck sharply and buried their first power play goal of the game. Blake Coffey fed Rylee St. Onge a pass in the right circle, and the winger immediately gave a touch pass into the slot for Grayson Gavin. The Mankato, MN native released a wrist shot and snuck the puck by Gransøe for his first goal as an IceRay and his third point in as many games since joining the team.
Veltri bailed his team out following a defensive zone turnover on an attempted breakout. Facing a sudden 2-on-0, the IceRays’ net-minder denied Lucas Herrmann and kept the RoadRunners off the scoresheet.
Late in the game, Topeka went to a power play and pulled Gransøe in a desperate attempt to score on a 6-on-4. However, Veltri and his team remained solid and held on for a second consecutive shutout. Brendan Miller sealed the game with an empty-net goal in the closing seconds, which marked his 14th point in as many games.
Veltri turned aside all 19 Topeka shots to earn his 14th win and second shutout of the season, while Gransøe was handed his 14th regulation defeat after stopping 27 of 30. The IceRays will attempt to sweep the RoadRunners tomorrow on Hockey & Heels night. Puck drop is set for 7:05 pm CT. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and on YouTube.