ODESSA, TEXAS – A four-goal press through the middle of the game helped the Corpus Christi IceRays (18-15-1-3) to a 4-3 win over the Odessa Jackalopes (14-19-4-0) on Saturday night at the Ector County Coliseum.
The Jackalopes earned the game’s first and lone power play in the opening period, and they scored the opening goal with that opportunity. At 12:45, Jackalopes forward Peyton Frantti found a loose puck off a rebound in front of the IceRays net and stabbed in the first of the night for a 1-0 lead. For the first time in the season series, the IceRays’ answer came in the first period, and center Mason Krueger slotted a wrist shot from the left circle just underneath the crossbar and over the jumping netminder at 14:59 to knot the game, 1-1.
Three more unanswered through the second period gave the IceRays the cushion they needed throughout the contest starting at 5:26. On their first of two power plays on the night, Krueger tapped in his second of the night on a rebound chance to take the first lead of the series, 2-1. IceRays forward Josh Tripp doubled the lead, 3-1, at 10:04 when he fed a shot from the high slot and slipped it by the netminder. On another developing play at 15:21, IceRays forward Larry Jungwirth found defenseman Cody Fleckenstein, who wristed in a shot from the middle of the slot to spread the lead to 4-1.
The Jackalopes came back in the third period and put the pressure on. At 4:49, Jackalopes forward Ryan MacKellar flipped a shot over the goaltender’s stick on a two-on-one rush to cut the lead in half, 4-2. In the closing minutes, Jackalopes forward Zach Zech slipped a shot from the right circle into the near side of the net at 18:45 to draw within one, 4-3. Despite the Jackalopes pulling their netminder, the IceRays held off the press and earned the 4-3 win.
IceRays goaltender Camden Burggrabe (5-4-1) earned the win, stopping 32 of 25 shots. Jackalopes netminder Jonny Hogue (8-10-1) picked up the loss, halting 18 of 22 shots through 40:00 minutes, while Jon Falkne turned away all 10 shots in the third period. The IceRays begin the final leg of their three-week road trip on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:11 p.m. against the Shreveport Mudbugs from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and Hockey TV.
The IceRays return home to the American Bank Center on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:05 p.m. to begin a two-game weekend set against the Odessa Jackalopes. Season memberships for the 2016-17 season are still available with full and partial season plans. Reserve yours by contacting the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).