Saturday, 12.09.17 / 10:08 pm CT
Photo: Rebekah Bing
Playing another sound defensive game from start to finish, the IceRays cruised to a 3-1 triumph over the Lone Star Brahmas on Saturday night on the back of a Rylee St. Onge hat trick. The victory marked the IceRays’ first sweep over the Brahmas at NYTEX Sports Centre in franchise history.
The IceRays took what they learned from the previous night and applied them to Saturday’s tilt. Firing pucks towards the net from all angles, they eventually tucked a shot past Harrison Feeney.
St. Onge carried the puck behind the Lone Star net. From the right side, he took a hard wrist shot from a severe angle. The shot beat Feeney over his glove, and gave the IceRays a 1-0 advantage 11:15 into the tilt.
Brendan Miller fed Garrett Hallford a tremendous pass from circle to circle just minutes later, giving the Rays a chance to double their lead. Hallford fired a quick shot on net, but Feeney was able to slide over and make a butterfly save.
At 31:31, Trevor Wilhelm found himself in a footrace for possession of a loose puck which was fluttering slowly into the IceRays zone. With Ture Linden closing in on him, Wilhelm inadvertently hooked the Brahmas’ center and was charged with a penalty shot.
Chad Veltri came up huge with a glove save on Linden, keeping his team in front. St. Onge would score at the end of the second period to double the Rays’ lead.
At 37:34, halfway through the IceRays’ first power play of the game, St. Onge sniped a shot over Feeney’s glove from another sharp-angled attempt. His power play goal gave Corpus Christi a 2-0 advantage, but Jayson Dimizio was penalized for high-sticking late in the middle stanza.
Beginning the closing period on the power play, the Brahmas failed to convert. But, eleven minutes into the frame, Austin O’Rourke released a wrist shot from the high slot. The off-speed shot fooled Veltri, who’d been blinded by a heavy screen. The puck slid through his five-hole, thereby ending his promising shutout bid.
Though they threatened to tie things up late in regulation, Veltri and the Rays kept the Brahmas at bay. With just seconds remaining, Larry Jungwirth angled the puck off the glass and down towards the empty net. Matt Acciaioli made a diving play to pass the puck to St. Onge, ensuring his winger completed the hat trick.
Veltri denied 27 of a possible 28 shots on goal en route to his 10th victory of the season, while Feeney was handed his second regulation defeat, stopping 20 of 22. The IceRays will take on the Shreveport Mudbugs next Wednesday, December 13th at 7:11 pm at George’s Pond Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com and on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (1230 AM, 96.1 FM, 95.1 FM).