IceRays beat Bees 6-2 to force game three
Throughout the season the Corpus Christi IceRays seemed to rise to the occasion with their backs against the wall. On Wednesday night, they proved they can do the same in the playoffs. Corpus Christi scored six of the final seven goals to top the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 6-2 from the American Bank Center in Game Two of the Southern Conference Opening Round Playoff Series. The IceRays tied the best-of-three series 1-1 and forced a decisive Game Three to be played on Thursday night at the Dodge Arena. The winner of that game will advance to take on the #1 seeded Texas Brahmas in the Southern Conference Semifinals with the losing team's season coming to a close. The game will take place at 7:35pm and will air on ESPN 1230am. The pre-game show will begin at 7:15pm
The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees rode four first period goals past the Corpus Christi IceRays Monday night in a 5-1 win in Game One of the Southern Conference best-of-three Opening Round. The Bees took a 1-0 series lead with the victory. The series now shifts to the American Bank Center on Wednesday night at 7:05pm for Game Two the opening round. It's a must win game for the IceRays to extend their season. Tickets are available for as little as $7. For more information, please call the IceRays at 361.814.PUCK or online at www.ccrayz.com.
The IceRays were looking for a better star than Monday's Game One and they got it. They outshot the Bees 8-1 to start the game, but goaltender Christian Boucher made some big saves to keep the game scoreless. Then Rio Grande Valley capitalized on a Rays mistake to break the tie. A puck deflected off of the glove of Rays defenseman Ryan Crane and right to Killer Bees leading scorer Jesse Bennefield. Bennefield walked into the offensive zone and slipped a puck through the legs of Kris Tebbs at 10:09 to give the Bees a 1-0 lead. The IceRays came right back, however, thanks to rookie Jereme Tendler. Tendler got the Rays back even at 14:40 after scoring from the slot after great work from Mark Tobin to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Then Tendler struck again to give the IceRays a 2-1 lead with a backhand goal from the right circle at 18:06. The Rays outshot the Bees in the opening frame 12-4.
In the second, the Rays added to their lead early on. Ryan Bennett scored his first of the post-season at 2:32 to make it 3-1 Corpus Christi. The IceRays extended their lead midway through the period when Justin Quenneville broke into the offensive zone shorthanded and beat Boucher at 9:54 to make the score 4-1 IceRays. Play got very physical late in the second period as tempers flared between the division rivals. The Bees outshot the Rays 16-11 in the frame, but the Rays took a 4-1 lead into the final period.
The Killer Bees tried to get back in the game early in the third. Topher Scott scored a power play goal at 1:45 to cut the IceRays lead to 4-2. Then minutes later Bees defenseman Jay Hardwick's shot found the back of the net but the goal was waived off after referee Steve Cruickshank ruled the goal had been dislodged prior to the puck crossing the line. Shortly after that the Killer Bees were forced to serve a five-minute major when Ryan Shmyr elbowed Jeremy Leroux and was ejected from the game. The Rays couldn't capitalize on the power play but added a pair of goals late in regulation to cement the victory. At 11:45 Chris Shaffer scored his first ever playoff goal on a rebound from a two-on-one with Nick Bachand. Then at 15:05 Bachand and Shaffer had another two-on-one and this time Bachand buried the initial shot from the left circle to cap the scoring.
Kris Tebbs (1-1) earned the win making 24 saves on 26 shots. Christian Boucher (0-1) took the loss in his playoff debut making 25 saves on 30 shots. The IceRays power play went 0-3 and the Bees went 1-6 on the man advantage. The IceRays outshot the Bees 30-26.
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Central Hockey League Stories from March 25, 2009
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