CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – It was the same script, different night for the Corpus Christi IceRays as they could not make a first period lead hold up as the Amarillo Bulls scored four unanswered goals and swept the IceRays, 4-1, at the American Bank Center on Monday night. Amarillo improves to 33-11-5 (71 points) while Corpus Christi dropped their record to 18-30-3 (39 points).
Sam Cheraso set the tone for the opening period by dropping the gloves with Joe Kozlak at the 7:03 which resulted in a clean victory for the IceRays’ forward. On the offensive end, four power-play chances landed the IceRays ahead first for the fourth consecutive time in the series. After Beau Walker and Josh Obregon teamed up in the left-wing corner, Obregon slid one to the top of the crease where Michael Benedict (23) was left all alone to put the IceRays in front, 1-0, 14:20 into the period. It was the only goal of the period as the IceRays outshot the Bulls, 14-10.
Josh Obregon was hauled down at the 5:15 mark of the second period on a breakaway and received Corpus Christi’s second penalty shot chance of the season, but much like Michael Benedict’s chance on October 23rd, Obregon was unable to convert. Corpus Christi could not extend their lead and Michael Erickson (10) tied the game at 1-1 when his low shot beat Mason Murovich at the 6:00 mark of the second period. It would be be Murovich’s only blemish of the period though as he matched an IceRays’ season-high with 23 saves in the second period. The teams combined for 38 shots, 24 for Amarillo, 14 for Corpus Christi, which was a season-high for combined shots in a period for an IceRays’ game.
Amarillo sprinted past Corpus Christi in the third period as three tallies salted the game away in favor of the Bulls. A crisp pass from Sean Keane landed on Cody Freeman’s stick who snapped one behind Murovich for his 25th goal of the season at the 4:52 mark. Dan Sherer (13) extended the lead to 3-1, 12:06 into the period, when his shot rang off the post and into the back of the net. Zack Smoot (20) made it 4-1 at the 15:33 mark when he finished off a three-on-one breakout. Corpus Christi could not muster many offensive chances in the final frame and were swept at home, 4-1. Amarillo outshot Corpus Christi, 44-35. The Bulls were 0-4 on the power play while the IceRays went 1-5.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
- Dan Sherer (1-1-2)
- Zack Smoot (1-1-2)
- Matt Johnson (0-3-3)
The IceRays continue their four-game homestand on Thursday, March 10th at 7:05 PM when they host the Amarillo Bulls at the American Bank Center. Fans can catch the pre-game show on the flagship home of the IceRays, News/Talk 1440 KEYS, www.1440KEYS.com, with the voice of the IceRays, Ryan Holt, beginning at 6:50 PM. The game will be available online through the league’s pay-per-view website, www.fasthockey.com. For more information call the Rays’ front office at 361.814.PUCK (7825) or crash the net at www.goicerays.com.
“THE NEW ICERAYS…TOMORROW’S STARS”