IceRays Fall 5-4 In Overtime To Brahmas, Trail Series 1-0
Tyler Skworchinski tied the game with 16.8 seconds left in regulation, and James Hiebert scored at 5:34 of overtime to lead the Texas Brahmas to a 5-4 comeback win over the Corpus Christi IceRays Monday Night in Game One of the best-of-three Southern Conference Opening Round Series. A season-best, four power play goals and a late third period lead were not enough for the #5 seeded IceRays as the #4 ranked Brahmas took a 1-0 series lead. The series now shifts to North Richland Hills for Game Two on Wednesday night at 7:05pm at the NYTEX Sports Centre. If the IceRays win a deciding Game Three will be played there on Thursday night. Wednesday's game can be heard on the radio in South Texas on ESPN 1230AM. Call 361.814.PUCK or visit www.goicerays.com for more information.
The IceRays came out extremely physical to open the game, but the Brahmas were the more assertive team in the offensive zone. They also broke onto the scoreboard first when Jordan Cameron picked off a pass at his own blue line and raced shorthanded down the ice for a goal at 12:!2 to give the Brahmas a 1-0 lead. The IceRays responded at 17:20 when Jason Tessier scored on a slapshot through traffic quickly into a Corpus Christi power play to tie the score. Tempers flared late in the period, setting an early tone for the short series. The Brahmas outshot the IceRays 11-6 in the period, and the clubs went into the locker rooms even at 1-1.
The IceRays took their first lead of the playoffs at 2:17 of the second period when Chad Woollard scored on a power play from the left circle. The goal stood as the only goal of the period, and the IceRays maintained their lead at 2-1 into the third period.
The third period was a wild see-saw frame featuring early and late goals from Texas. Justin Kinnunen scored on a power play 26 seconds into the frame to tie the score 2-2. The IceRays appeared to reclaim the lead at 2:07 on another Tessier goal, but the call was reversed and it was disallowed by referee Kevin Graber. Corpus still reclaimed the lead when Chris Richards scored an acrobatic goal on the power play, stealing the puck in the low slot, and then lifting a backhand over Brett Jaeger's pads while being tripped face forward at 6:57. Just 37 seconds later Jason Dietsch scored on a turnaround shot from the slot to again tie the score. Less than a minute later at 8:21, Steve Later scored on a one-timer off a faceoff for the IceRays fourth power play goal to give the Rays a 4-3 lead. That lead held until the final seconds when Skworchinski scored a rebound goal at 19:43 to force overtime. In the extra session, a defensive zone turnover by the IceRays led to Hiebert's game winner on a slapshot from the top of the slot to give the Brahmas the win. The IceRays one-goal loss was the fifth in as many losses this season to the Brahmas.
Kevin Beech (0-1) took the loss, making 32 saves on 37 shots. Brett Jaeger (1-0) earned the win making 20 saves on 24 shots. The IceRays power play went 4-6 and the Brahmas went 1-8. The IceRays were outshot by the Brahmas 37-24 in the game.
The IceRays and Brahmas will now travel to North Richland Hills for Game Two on Wednesday Night at 7:05 at the NYTEX Sports Centre. If necessary, Game Three will be played on Thursday Night at 7:05pm. All games for the remainder of the series will be aired on the radio on ESPN 1230AM in South Texas. Call 361.814.PUCK or visit www.goicerays.com.
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