Friday, November 5, 2010

Corpus Christi uses strong 2nd period to end Winless Streak

Corpus Christi has had a string of very close but still losing to different teams and losing ground in the South Division as the team is currently 4 points back of 4th Place Topeka who currrently holds the 4th and final playoff spot. You have to go back to October 10 when the Icerays last won against the struggling New Mexico Mustangs who are cleary the weak link in the South Division this season.

After Stephen Fahlstedt and Dakota Klecha who scored for the Wildcats less then 30 seconds apart, that part the Icerays team in another funk as the Icerays were looking to end a winless streak.

But when 2 2nd period goals scored just under 2 minutes apart, plus a Ben Hughes goal midway through the 2nd period to put them up 3-2, the Icerays began to take over the game which included 2 Power Play Goals and a SH Goal Empty Netter to officially clinch the Icerays first win since October 10.

The two teams play again tonight at the American Bank Center before Corpus Christi leaves on a 7 game road-trip. While Wichita Falls will have a busy 3 game week next week, first a mid-week home game against the Texas Tornado, then a weekend series against the Amarillo Bulls next weekend.

Corpus Christi Icerays Players Heading to the Top Prospects Tournament

Wichita Falls Wildcats 2  Corpus Christi Icerays 4  (2-0, 0-3, 0-1)

Here's the Game Report from Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller

From Corpus Christi, Texas: It's a stretch to say the Icerays turned around their season with one game. But for one night, they saw a lot of things they'd been missing in recent weeks.

Corpus Christi snapped a five game winless streak on Thrusday Night, rallying for the game's final four goals to down the Wichita Falls Wildcats 4-2 at the American Bank Center.

The Icerays (7-8-2, 16 points) won in regularation for the first time since September 17 at the North American Hockey League Showcase. Corpus Christi also halted a four game winless stretch against the Wichita Falls Wildcats (12-5-2, 26 points).

"That paid off after a long week of hard practice," said Icerays defensemen Jason Suova, who had a goal and an assist. "We came out with a good start that we haven't had in a long time. When they scored those couple goals, it was like 'come on'. But we battled back like usual and finally held a lead and won in regulation against one of the top teams in the league."

Things didn't look auspicious first 15 minutes into the game, as the Icerays found themselves down 2-0 after the Wildcats Tanner Fahlstedt and Dakota Klecha scored scored goals 33 seconds apart.

"There weren't to many negatives things said," Hughes said. "We had a pretty good period other then those two breakdowns that lead to the goals. "We're a team that has a lot of heart. We came out strongly today and part of our identity is to come back and battles back when we fall behind."

The first goal came three minutes into the frame. Souva's shot came from the left point was stopped, but the rebound came to Beau Walker at the bottom of the right circle. The Icerays leading scorer promptly buried the puck into an empty net with five seconds left on the power play.

Corpus Christi needed less then two minutes to find the equalizer. After the Icerays won an offensive zone faceoff, Cody Milligan set up Joey Parizek in the low slot and he snapped in the low shot and he snapped a wirst shot past goalie Eric Garavaglia at 4:55.

The Icerays then took their first lead on the man advantage at 11:14. Jacob Diamond's inital shot was stopped, but the rebound went to Hughes in the high slot and he snapped it over Garavaglia and under the crossbar.

The Icerays then nursed that lead over the final 28 plus minutes, with some strong work from from goalie Phoenix Copley.

Hughes was sent off for holding with 1:34 left and then the Wildcats pulled Garavaglia for a six-on-four advantage, but Suova, from behind his goal line scored into the empty net with 54.5 seconds left to seal the victory.

"It was extremely tough," Hughes said of watching the final penalty kill. "I told Souva that I never celebrated so hard before in the penalty box. That's something where we earned our breaks. We hadn't been getting too many breaks all season. We really worked hard for it tonight and things went our way."

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