CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Corpus Christi IceRays scored three power-play goals, two from defenseman Colton Saucerman and added two of the shorthanded variety en route to a 5-2 victory over the New Mexico Mustangs on Friday night at the American Bank Center. With the win Corpus Christi snaps a five-game losing skid and improves their record to 14-20-2 (30 points). New Mexico falls to 9-22-3 (21 points) with the loss.
Saucerman registered a team season-high four points while Beau Walker and Joe Smereck each had multiple point nights. Pheonix Copley was stellar for the IceRays, making 27 saves to earn the team’s first victory of the 2011 calendar year.
The first period went scoreless as neither side was able to build much offensive pressure. Corpus Christi had the best scoring chance of the opening period, but Petr Stloukal’s slap shot from the right circle caromed off the crossbar and into the upper deck. New Mexico had five power-play opportunities including a five-on-three man advantage which carried over into the second period. The IceRays went 0-1 on the power play. Shots were 7-6 in favor of Corpus Christi.
Sam Cheraso opened the second period with a fighting victory over Mustangs newcomer Brian Fiol. New Mexico changed the momentum though and hopped on the board first, 4:06 into the second period, as Sander Valde (2) beat Copley on the backdoor to put the Mustangs ahead, 1-0. It was all IceRays from then on though as they scored twice on the power play to pull ahead, 2-1. First, Walker (10) tipped Mychal Monteith’s shot from the left point past Marco Wieser, 8:55 into period, to tie the game 1-1. Corpus Christi got the lead for good at the 16:16 mark when Saucerman (3) scored his first of the night on a five-on-three power play to put the ‘Rays on top, 2-1. The IceRays held the shot advantage, 14-7.
The special teams once again put the IceRays on the scoreboard, as Jordan Miller (4) scored a breakaway, shorthanded tally, 8:06 into the third period, to extend the lead to 3-1. The ‘Stangs pulled to within one as Adam Chapie (7) converted on a penalty shot, 12:35 into the third period to cut the deficit in half, 3-2. However, Saucerman (4) scored his second of the night just 22 seconds later on the power play to make the score 4-2. Brandon Marshall (2) added an empty-net goal with 1:55 remaining in regulation to seal the victory for Corpus Christi, 5-2. Final shots were 35-29 for the IceRays. Corpus Christi went 3-9 on the power play and killed off all eight New Mexico power plays.
THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT:
- Colton Saucerman (2-2-4)
- Beau Walker (1-1-2)
- Joe Smereck (0-2-2)
The IceRays conclude their five-game homestand with a 7:45 PM game on Saturday against the New Mexico Mustangs. 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 7:30 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”