CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Malo Ville scored twice and Kyle Froese stayed hot on Friday night as the Corpus Christi IceRays built a 4-0 lead over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and held on for a 4-2 victory in front of 3,000 fans at American Bank Center.
The IceRays got off to the start they needed and took a 1-0 lead early over Fairbanks. Kyle Froese received a pass at the left point and found a hole in the Ice Dogs defense letting a shot go that stayed on the ice, finding a way through traffic and through the legs of goaltender Kevin Aldridge for a 1-0 ‘Rays lead. The goal was assisted by Luke Bennett and Wes Michaud.
Corpus Christi took a 2-0 lead off the stick of Malo Ville after he intercepted the puck in the neutral zone to move in on net all alone. Ville released a rocket from the left wing circle that beat Kevin Aldridge over his left shoulder and just under the crossbar with only 5:02 left in the opening period. The goal was Ville’s 7th of the year and the lone assist went to Michael Mahan, his third helper in just his sixth game.
In the second period, Fairbanks and Corpus Christi exchanged great scoring chances with back and forth action but both Ben Myers and Kevin Aldridge but the IceRays capitalized on a rebound late in the middle frame. Brad LeLievre found Grant Hutton alone at the left point and hit him with a pass. Hutton let a shot go that was originally stopped by Aldridge but the rebound went right to Maurin Bouvet who fired in his 8th goal of the year with only 1:24 left in the period. The assists went to Hutton for his 11th helper and LeLievre who tallied his 9th overall assist for a 3-0 lead.
In the third period Ville struck again, this time while on the power-play. A pass from Kyle Froese from the right wing wall went right to a wide open Malo Ville in the hash marks. Ville took the pass and shoulder faked Kevin Aldridge opening up a hole over the right shoulder to wrist the puck top shelf for his second time of the game and 8th of the season.. The goal came at 6:41 of the third period with the assists to Froese and Grant Hutton.
Fairbanks did not let up and pulled within a pair of goals late in the game. Their scoring began at 9:12 of the final period of regulation and it came courtesy of Jacob Hetz on a backdoor feed from Johnny Mueller beating goaltender Ben Myers for the first time on the night to pull the Ice Dogs to a three goal deficit. Mueller had the only assist on Hetz’s 12th goal this year.
The ‘Dogs answered back a few minutes late while on a two man advantage. After the IceRays took a pair of penalties the Alaskan squad went to fork peppering the net. Finally, they got one to go in and it came from Viktor Liljegren with 6:11 left in the game and left plenty of time to make a run to erase for four goal lead the ‘Rays had at the beginning of the period. Tayler Munson and Brett Gervais had the assists.
With over two minutes left in the game, Fairbanks pulled goaltender Kevin Aldridge but couldn’t get him off the ice when they wanted due to the pressure the IceRays put on the breakout for the Ice Dogs. In the end, Corpus Christi held on for a 4-2 win.
Ben Myers stopped 31 of 33 shots he faced.
The IceRays host Fairbanks for the final time this season tomorrow night inside American Bank Center. Puck drops at 7:05PM, coverage begins at 6:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on sportsjuice.com, ustream.com, and fasthockey.com, and the TuneIn Radio APP. Click LISTEN LIVE on the IceRays website for more information!
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