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Rays Gets Point, Reduce Magic Number To Two Points

March 16, 2009 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Corpus Christi IceRays News Release

In the regular season home finale, the Corpus Christi IceRays and Laredo Bucks locked horns in a game that thrilled fans and fittingly came down to the wire Monday night at the American Bank Center. In the end, Bucks goaltender Sebastien Centomo turned aside 30 of 31 shots and stopped all five shooters in a shootout to lead Laredo to a 2-1 shootout victory. The shootout loss moved Corpus Christi's record to 27-29-6 on the season, but still reduced the IceRays magic number to two points to clinch a playoff spot. The Rays can secure a playoff berth with one more victory and have two games remaining.

The IceRays are now three points in front of the Arizona Sundogs with even games played and five points ahead of the New Mexico Scorpions who beat Arizona on Saturday. Corpus Christi will finish up the season on the road in Rio Grande Valley on Friday and Bossier-Shreveport on Saturday. For more information on the IceRays, please call the IceRays at 361.814.PUCK or online at www.ccrayz.com.

The Bucks took the first lead of the game with the only goal of the first period. Darryl Smith slammed home his own rebound at 8:58 on a Laredo power play for his rookie-leading 35th goal of the season to make the score 1-0. The score held throughout the frame and the Bucks took a lead into the first intermission after the Corpus Christi outshot Laredo 10-8 in the period.

Neither team tallied in the middle frame with the IceRays outshooting the Bucks 8-7 in the period. Laredo took their 1-0 lead into the final frame.

In the third period the IceRays were awarded a two-man advantage when Nick Romano was pulled down right in front of the net, and then Bucks defenseman Steven Weidlich took a roughing call after the whistle. Corpus Christi capitalized as Justin Quenneville scored his 20th of the year at 5:55 to tie the score 1-1. The Rays had chances down the stretch to take their first lead but Centomo was brilliant denying Corpus Christi time and time again.

After a scoreless overtime, Centomo again stole the show stopping all five IceRays shooters, Smith scored as the fourth shooter for the Bucks and that was enough for the Laredo win. Smith earned credit for the game-winning goal in the shootout. With the win the Bucks are now one-point away from securing the #3 seed in the South and a first round bye. For the second straight year, the IceRays finished their home record .500 with a 15-15-2 mark at the American Bank Center this season.

Kris Tebbs (23-19-5) took the OT loss making 22 saves on 23 shots and stopping three of four in the shootout. Sebastien Centomo (20-16-2) earned the wim making 30 saves on 31 shots. The IceRays power play went 1-4 and the Bucks went 1-2 on the man advantage. The IceRays outshot the Bucks 31-24.

The IceRays will return finish the season on the road with a Friday night trip to Rio Grande Valley followed by a Saturday night visit to Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. For more information, please call the IceRays at 361.814.PUCK.

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