Friday, 03.02.18 / 9:57 pm CT
Photo: Chip Pitcairn
Getting off to a tremendous start, the IceRays had an early lead slip away and fell 5-3 to the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday.
The first period was one of the strangest periods of play all season. Things started off with a bang for the IceRays. Just a minute and six seconds into the game, Julian Makary scored from a severe angle, shooting from the goal line and sneaking the puck past Alex Camarre. The goal was Makary’s third of the season and was scored with his father in attendance from Nova Scotia.
At 5:29, Garrett Hallford doubled the Rays’ lead with a goal from below the hashmarks. Angus Scott stole the puck from below the goal line, and fed a wide open Hallford, who buried his 11th goal of the season.
Odessa’s Ricky Carballo had an answer with a backhand shot three minutes later, scoring on Jacob Acton after a net-front scramble. Shortly thereafter, Hallford was checked into the end boards near Section 111, causing a pane of glass to immediately shatter into hundreds of pieces. The glass was cleaned up, a new pane reinstalled, and play resumed some 15 minutes later.
The Jackalopes had been building momentum for some time after returning from the extended stoppage, and Zac Herrmann tied the game at 15:42 on a give-and-go play. Another glass malfunction caused the first period to be ended early, with 1:13 being added onto the second period instead.
At 26:15, Viktor Johansson skated into the Corpus Christi zone after seizing possession at center ice. The IceRays had a number of exhausted players, who couldn’t find time to complete a line change with the bench on the far end of their defensive zone. Johansson dropped the puck on a platter for Jared Christy, who buried a shot past Acton’s glove to give the Jackalopes their first lead of the game.
Petr Miko struck on a similar play on a Johansson feed just six minutes later, but there was some controversy surrounding the goal with many believing the puck was kicked into the net. However, the goal stood and play resumed.
Rylee St. Onge gave a pass over to Larry Jungwirth on a 2-on-1. Jungwirth accelerated down the slot, but was denied by Camarre who came above the paint to challenge the shot. Dakota Concannon also had a strong scoring chance on his backhand, but was denied by a blocker save made by Camarre.
Early in the closing stanza, Matt Brown buried his 10th goal of the season on a faceoff play to give Odessa a fifth unanswered goal. Brendan Miller found the back of the net on a breakaway for his team-leading third shorthanded goal of the season at 58:25, but by then it was too little, too late.
Acton was charged with his sixth regulation defeat on the season, having saved 32 of the 37 shots he faced. Camarre picked up his game after a shaky start, denying 28 of 31 and earning his 14th win. The IceRays will have the chance to avenge themselves and split the series tomorrow on Grades for Blades Night, presented by Texas A&M University-Kingsville, IBEW and Cable One. Members of the Business Professionals of America can enter for $3 by providing credentials at the box office windows. Puck drop is set for 7:05 pm CT and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and on YouTube.