Friday, January 28, 2022
ICERAYS 3, Amarillo 1
The IceRays returned home following a two weekend road trip. The road trip ended on a high note, which the Rays were looking to continue a two-game winning streak on Friday against Amarillo. The Wranglers have had the better of Corpus Christi this season winning the first four matchups, but on Friday, it was a different story.
In the first period, shots on goal favored Amarillo, but as their starting goaltender, Michael Sochan, quickly learned, it is not about how many go on net. The IceRays second shot on goal found its way into the back of the net past the goaltender. The goal was scored by Nathan Butler, his twelfth of the season. Assists on the Butler goal were awarded to Elias and Nekhamiyev, the remainder of the third line for Corpus Christi on Friday night.
Just a minute and a half later, the IceRays struck for their second goal on the third shot on goal of the night. It was Colby Seitz finding the back of the net past Sochan. Friday was the second straight game with a goal from Colby Seitz. Assists were given to Cole Helm and Zach Dill on the goal. Following the Seitz goal, Amarillo’s coaching staff pulled Sochan in way for Max Gutjahr.
The Rays maintained their two goal lead throughout the remainder of the first period. In the second, the Rays extended their lead to three thanks to a Blake Lewis shot that was set up by Trey Zagrzebski. Stepan Kuznetsov also received an assist on the goal, which marks the third straight game that all three members of the first line find the score sheet.
Right away, in the third, Amarillo had their answer. Kristaps Skrastins sent one in on Stefan Carney for his 22nd of the season just seven seconds into the period. This was their only response, though, as the Rays went on to win 3-1 against the fourth place Wranglers.
Carney stopped 27/28 of shots fired on net from Amarillo earning his third straight win and sixth of the season. This earned Carney the first star of the game. The second star was occupied by Colby Seitz who scored the game-winning goal for Corpus Christi for the second straight game. The third star was given to Blake Lewis who has now scored in three straight games for the IceRays.
Saturday, January 29, 2022
ICERAYS 5, Amarillo 3
With a win on Friday night, the Rays extended their winning streak to three, which meant a chance to match a season high streak at four on Saturday.
Prior to Saturday, the Rays had only won five games all season where the opponent scores first. That is exactly what Amarillo did as they struck first on the power play with a goal just over four minutes into the game.
This was the first lead that Amarillo held all weekend. The lead would not be in tact for long, though, as the Rays found their way to the power play just over a minute later. 26 seconds into the man-advantage, Trey Zagrzebski scored on a pass from behind the net off of the stick of Blake Lewis. Stepan Kuznetsov recorded the secondary assist on the game tying goal.
The Rays were not done scoring in period number one as Cam Crolley tallied the go-ahead goal for Corpus just over half way through the period. He scored while sprawled out on the ice pushing the puck past the Amarillo goaltender. Assists on the goal were given to Cole Helm and Colby Seitz who both extended their point streaks to three.
Corpus Christi was not alright with just a one-goal lead heading into intermission, so when the Rays went to the power play with under five to go in the game’s opening period, they struck once again. This time, it was Nathan Butler finding the back of the net sixteen seconds into the man-advantage. Assists on the goal went to Trey Zagrzebski and Matt Harvey who kept the puck moving on the play.
In the second period, Amarillo struck back on their third power play of the night to pull back within one of the Rays with just over seven minutes to go in the period. Corpus Christi answered quickly again, though, as Blake Lewis continued his goal streak to four and the Rays goal total in the game to four as well. It was a full line goal and Kuznetsov and Zagrzebski earned assists on the tally.
A two-goal lead into the second intermission held until the half way point of period number three when Amarillo darted one into the back of the net to pull back to 4-3.
Three minutes after the goal to get Amarillo back within one, Corpus Christi went onto the penalty kill. Charlie Merkley went all out to get the puck out of the zone. He did so and tied up Amarillo’s defender in the process. That left Nathan Butler all alone with the Wrangler’s net minder. Butler shot the puck and the rebound found its way toward the corner. Butler did not give up on the play, though, as he poked it back toward the net with his back hand. The puck found its way past the goalie and the Rays took a 5-3 lead.
Corpus Christi took that lead throughout the rest of the game and completed the sweep of Amarillo. The IceRays were a perfect 2-2 on the power play on Saturday night.
Nathan Butler, Stepan Kuznetsov, Blake Lewis, and Trey Zagrzebski all continue their point streaks to four games. In the past four games, those four players combined have recorded 29 points for Corpus Christi.
Stefan Carney was between the pipes for the Rays in the game as he moves to 7-4-0 on the season for Corpus.
The Rays are back on the road next weekend as they travel to Odessa for a meeting with the Jackalopes. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 both nights with coverage on HockeyTV and Brewster Street Radio.