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IceRays' comeback effort falls short

March 5, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Corpus Christi IceRays News Release

Another big night on special teams helped the Odessa Jackalopes top the Corpus Christi IceRays 5-3 at the Ector County Coliseum on Friday night. Jeff Pierce led the way with a pair of goals and two assists, while Chris Richards paced the IceRays with two goals and an assist in the losing effort. The IceRays fell to 26-23-7 on the season, and stayed within six points of the Laredo Bucks and Texas Brahmas who are tied for the number three spot in the Southern Conference. They also stayed four points ahead of the Killer Bees for the final playoff spot in the Southern Conference with a game in hand.

After an off night on Saturday, the IceRays will return to the American Bank Center for a 3:00pm game, hosting the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs on Citgo Night. The IceRays will wear and then auction off their red jerseys to fans following the game. There will also be post-game public skating available for fans in attendance. For more information, please call the IceRays at 361.814.PUCK or visit them online at www.goicerays.com.

It was a special teams parade to start the hockey game, and the IceRays fell behind against the top power play and penalty killing unit in the CHL. After an early hit by Ryan Bennett 62 seconds into the game, Garrett Gruenke fought Bennett and received 17 total penalty minutes, giving the IceRays a five-minute major. Corpus Christi could not convert the opportunity, and the Jacks received overlapping power plays just after they returned to full strength, and jumped on the board with a power play goal. Collin Circelli tallied his 30th of the year, just outside of the crease at 9:28 to give the Jacks a 1-0 lead. The score remained through the period despite great chances at both ends. The Jackalopes outshot the IceRays 18-10 in the period.

The Jackalopes made it 2-0 at 5:05 of the second period when Troy Ofukany scored on a redirection to increase Odessa's lead. The IceRays got on the board, and within a goal on an Adam Powell rebound on a power play at 15:43. But the Jacks answered quickly on a power play of their own. Alex Dunn scored on a slap shot from the left point at 17:42 to give the Jacks a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. Both teams had nine shots on goal in the period.

Pierce scored another power play goal for the Jacks 41 seconds into the final frame. With the IceRays trailing 4-1, Richards made a play for the Corpus comeback. He scored twice within 70 seconds early in the frame to bring the IceRays within one. After several strong penalty kills by the IceRays, Pierce struck again to complete the scoring and put the game out of reach.

Kevin Beech (15-7-3) took the loss, making 32 saves on 34 shots. Joel Martin (21-6-2) earned the win making 29 saves on 33 shots. The IceRays power play went 2-8 and the Jacks went 3-8. The IceRays were outshot by the Jacks 36-33 in the game.

After an off night on Saturday, the IceRays will return to the American Bank Center for a 3:00pm game, hosting the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs on Citgo Night. The IceRays will wear and then auction off their red jerseys to fans following the game. There will also be post-game public skating available for fans in attendance. For more information, please call the IceRays at 361.814.PUCK or visit them online at www.goicerays.com.

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