A very fast start which included the hero from the win over Fresno had the opening goal of the game just 3 minutes helped slowly but surely est. a game that would eventually dismantle the Owatonna Express 5-1 which also had big performances from Beau Walker with 2 goals, Mike Benedict with a goal & 2 assists, as well Sam Cheraso & Scott Gleason who each had 2 assists in the 1st period where the Icerays went up 3-1 through the first intermission.
Then in the 2nd period it was where the Express had nothing going for them despite getting 18 shots on goal in the last 2 periods. However, nothing could break through the tough Icerays defense as goals by Beau Walker and Kevin Crowe scored to make it 5-1.
This team is beginning to come together after the sluggish preseason and the Showcase Opener where they lost 1-0 to Traverse City. Currently the Icerays are at 2-1 and are looking like a more-and-more solid team on the ice and they look to explode when they play their home opener on October 1 when they play the Wichita Falls Wildcats.
Until then, the Icerays will help close the Showcase with a game against the league's only Canadian Based team in the Dawson Creek Rage at 3:45 PM Tomorrow.
Owatonna Express 1 Corpus Christi Icerays 5 (1-3, 0-2, 0-0)
Corpus Christi Icerays News & Notes
From Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller
From Blaine, Minnesota: Very little came easy for the Icerays entering Friday Morning Game. But after forth a complete performance, there was little to quibble over afterward.
Corpus Christi put together its most polished outing of the North American Hockey League Season, dismantling the Owatonna Express 5-1 at the Schwan Super Rink on the third day of the NAHL'S Showcase Tournament.
The Icerays, (2-1, 4 PTS) got opportunistic scoring, strong team defense and a 29 save outing from goalie Phoenix Copley in his Junior A debut, leaving coach Brent Hughes quite pleased.
"It was leaps and bounds better then the first two hockey games," Hughes said. "I fell we've made strides. I thought we controlled the play most of the game. It was a great hockey game for our team. We did a lot of good things - we put the puck in the net and kept it out of ours."
Beau Walker scored twice while Mike Benedict a goal and two assists. After being shutout in two preseason games and the season opener, the Icerays have scored five times in each of their two victories.
"The Floodgates have opened," Walker said. "We're definitely working better together. Coach changed the line-ups after the first game and it's been working good.
"It's just shooting the puck more. It's definitely changing our prespective. Were shooting the puck more and scoring more goals."
Copley got his first start after Marco Wieser was in net for the first two games. Copley was caught out of position on a wraparound on Owatonna's first goal, but was solid after that.
"I was a little bit nervous, but I felt ready to go was confident," Copley said. "Our defense was strong. There were doing a lot better job of covering guys in the (defensive) zone and keeping shots from the outside. That's was really helped me out there."
The Icerays started quickly, Jacob Diamond, who scored the winner with 12.3 seconds left Thursday, knocked in a loose puck near the post at 2:51. Owatonna tied the score less then two minutes later, but Corpus Christi responded with a pair of goals 8:06 apart to seize control.
At 9:24, Walker coming down the right side, snapped a wrist shot to the far side that nestled in under the crossbar.
Benedict converted on the power-play at 17:30, walking in from the left circle and put a shot on net that made it's way through traffic and past goalie Tommy Burke.
Walker then struck again early in the 2nd period, finishing a back-door feed from Benedict at the left post at 4:54.
The Icerays added a crushing marker in the frame's final seconds. Corpus Christi won an offensive zone face-off and from the inner edge of the right circle, Kevin Crowe pumped a wrist shot under Burke's blocker with 6.1 seconds left.
"The guys aren't gripping their sticks near as hard as they were," Hughes said. "Usually at this level, the goals are more grinding and around the net. There were some pretty goals today that you usually don't normally see."
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