Friday, December 3, 2021
ICERAYS 5, Wichita Falls 4 (SO)
Coming off of a sweep against New Mexico, the IceRays traveled to Wichita Falls to face off against the Warriors. This was the second series against Wichita Falls this season with the first being a split in early October.
In the first, the IceRays were able to get out to a hot start with newly acquired Dhillon Wilde scoring in his first game with the IceRays. The goal was the first debut goal for a player for Corpus Christi since Danny Nekhamiyev did the same on October 10th against Odessa.
Ten minutes after the Wilde goal, the IceRays struck again. This time, it was on the power play for Corpus Christi. The goal was scored by Braden Rourke, which was his fourth on the season. The 2-0 lead was the advantage taken into the locker room for the Rays.
Period number two, the score stayed the same for Corpus with a two remaining on that side of the scoreboard. Wichita Falls did break into the lead a little bit, though, with a goal in period number two. The lead was 2-1 into intermission number two.
In the third, a plethora of goals were scored starting with one for Wichita Falls to even it at 2-2. The IceRays struck back thirty seconds after with Jude Kurtas scoring to get the lead back for the IceRays.
Wichita Falls scored the next two goals to give themselves a 4-3 lead late in the second half of the third. That’s when the IceRays went back on the man advantage. Stepan Kuznetsov was able to strike for the Rays, which gives him three goals in two games. The goal brought the game to a 4-4 tie.
The game remained tied through the remainder of regulation. Chances were had on both sides in the overtime period with both goaltenders holding strong advancing the game to a shootout.
In the shootout, Damon Beaver stopped all three attempts from Wichita Falls. At the other end, Jude Kurtas was able to sneak one past the netminder for the Warriors. The IceRays skated away with a 5-4 shootout win over Wichita Falls.
With both El Paso and Shreveport winning, the IceRays keep pace with the teams around them while becoming two points closer to a playoff spot.
The IceRays go for the sweep tomorrow night against the Warriors with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 pm again tomorrow night.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
ICERAYS 5, Wichita Falls 4 (OT)
Coming off of the first shootout that Corpus Christi had competed in and won on Friday night, the IceRays went into game two on Saturday night in search of a sweep against Wichita Falls.
The IceRays and Warriors skated at a tied score for most of period number one. The scoreless tie became broken with just over five minutes to go in the first thanks to the stick of Braden Rourke. The goal was the second of the weekend for Rourke who scored a first period goal on Friday evening as well. Corpus Christi took that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Period number two saw ups and downs for the Rays starting with a goal from Cole Helm, his second of the season, just under three minutes into the period. The two goal lead became a three goal lead three minutes later when the IceRays were on the man-advantage. The third goal of the game and third on the power play on the weekend was scored by Braden Rourke for his second goal of the night.
Three unanswered for Corpus Christi gave themselves a lead in the early second period. This was not the only stretch of the game where a team had three unanswered with Wichita Falls responding with three of their own to even things up at three heading into intermission.
The final frame of regulation brought dramatics once again between the two teams. It was the IceRays striking first in period number three with Braden Rourke collecting his third goal of the evening. Rourke’s hat trick is the first from an IceRays player this season. Wichita Falls struck back with the extra attacker on the ice to send the game to overtime again on Saturday.
In overtime, the two teams skated even for the first two minutes at three on three. That is until Lawson-Body, a forward for Wichita Falls, pressured IceRays players in the middle of a change. Stumpel took the puck behind goaltender Stefan Carney. Lawson-Body forced him out from behind the net and got his stick underneath Stumpel’s arm when the Corpus Christi forward got a step on him.
This sent the IceRays to the power play with three minutes to go in extra time. The first minute and a half of penalty kill seemed to be going well for Wichita Falls blocking shots and sending the puck down the length of the ice. As the penalty time was drawing to a close, the IceRays established offensive zone time. Kuznetsov’s first chance was saved, but when he got his second chance, he buried it to give Corpus Christi the win.
The win brought the IceRays a second consecutive streak and extends the win streak to four straight. The pair of wins in Wichita Falls is the first time since March of 2015 that the IceRays won back to back games. In March of 2015, it was wins against Lone Star followed by a once against Wichita Falls. The last time the IceRays swept a series with overtime wins dates back to October of 2010 when the Rays swept New Mexico.
Corpus Christi returns home to face off against Amarillo on Thursday and Friday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 both nights at American Bank Center.