The Corpus Christi IceRays scored three goals in the third period to mount a comeback, however the Amarillo Bulls picked up four goals in the first and added two more in the final 40 minutes of play en route to a 6-3 victory inside the Amarillo Civic Center to even the series up at one game apiece. Amarillo’s first goal came at 6:52 of the first period as Brady Ferguson scooped up a rebound after a Ben Myers save and tapped in his first of the playoffs with assists from Dan McNamara and Clint Carlisle and the Bulls led 1-0. Ferguson struck again 21 seconds later as he back-handed a shot by Myers for his second of the night and second of the playoffs as Amarillo quickly moved out to a 2-0 lead. After the IceRays took a penalty, Amarillo converted on the power-play with 4:51 left to go in the as Hampus Gustafsson wristed a shot over the shoulder of Myers with assists credited to Geoff Fortman and John Rey and the Bulls moved out to a 3-0 advantage. In the second period a fluke goal gave the Bulls a 4-0 lead while on the power-play. Gage Christianson fired a shot from the goal line to the left of Ben Myers that hit a body in front and found the back of the net. The assists were from Hampus Gustafsson and Geoff Fortman and the goal came at 7:05 of the second frame. In the third period Corpus Christi started a comeback that began with a Perry D’Arrisso goal as he buried a rebound attempt to put the IceRays on the board just 3:22 into the third with the assists going to John Roisum and Brandon Smith. Dan McNamara answered back for the Bulls with a wrister from the right wing circle beating Ben Myers over his left shoulder and Amarillo moved back out to a four goal lead at 5-1 with 15:08 left in the game. The IceRays responded with two straight goals, both by AJ Jarosz. The first came even strength as Mike Economos dropped a pass back to Jarosz who wired a shot over Paul Berrafato at 8:19 of the third period and the Rays’ were back within three goals. Jarosz picked up his second of the game on the power-play beating Berrafato off a great pass from Beau Walker who set Jarosz up for a tap-in goal. The other assist was credited to Wayland Williams and the Rays’ trailed 5-3 with 7:27 left in the game. The Bulls tacked on a power-play goal late in regulation courtesy of TJ Sherman and picked up the win to even the series 1-1. Ben Myers stopped 42 shots in the loss.
Corpus Christi trailed Amarillo 1-0 after two periods, however Emil Romig tied the game in the third, and Brandon Berkley tallied the game winner with 3:34 left in the game as the IceRays took game one from the Bulls 2-1 backed by 38 saves from Hayden Stewart inside the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday night. Amarillo got on the board in period one as Joe Grabowski took a shot from the right point and sent the puck wide on purpose. The shot deflected off the end wall and went right to an awaiting Hampus Gustafsson who picked up the first goal of the series 6:30 into the game and the Bulls led 1-0. Hayden Stewart kept the IceRays in the game during the second period stopping all 18 shots he faced including two with his stick. The comeback started in the third period at 3:20 when Beau Walker sent a cross ice pass to Emil Romig who marched inside the right wing circle and found a hole in Bulls goaltender Paul Berrafato to tie the game 1-1. The other assist was credited to Wayland Williams. After no scoring for the next 15 minutes it was Brandon Berkley who tallied the game winner with 3:34 left to go in the game. Berkley took a pass down the left wing boards and fired a wrister through the legs of Berrafato to give Corpus Christi a 2-1 lead. The Bulls pulled the goaltender late in regulation however the IceRays held on for a 2-1 comeback win over the NAHL regular season champions. Hayden Stewart denied 38 of 39 shots in the win for Corpus Christi who takes a 1-0 lead in the five game series.
Charles Baldwin and Joe Ginley each scored short-handed goals on the same penalty kill as the Corpus Christi IceRays won the regular season finale over the Odessa Jackalopes 8-2 in front of 4,557 fans inside the American Bank Center. Corpus Christi tallied the first goal of the night as Jalen Schulz fired a shot from the top of the offensive circles over the right shoulder of Jackalope goaltender Nick Deery for a 1-0 lead at 6:59 of the game assisted by Beau Walker. The Jackalopes responded just 47 seconds later as Taylor Portner was denied by IceRays goalie Ben Myers. The rebound was kicked right out to Matthew Montemurro who pinched in from the point to bury his 4th goal of the year 7:46 into the contest tying the game at one. Emil Romig continues his scoring streak with his third goal of the weekend while on the power-play. Beau Walker took the puck in the left wing circle and fed it through a screen right to a wide open Romig who had all day to beat Nick Deery for his 16th on the season and the Rays’ took a 2-1 lead. Corpus Christi added four goals in the second period that started with a pair of short-handed goals while on the same penalty kill. Joe Ginley walked in all alone beating Nick Deery, unassisted at 6:45 of the second to take a 3-1 lead for the playoff bound IceRays. Just 26 seconds later Charles Baldwin picked up the other short-handed tally on that penalty kill as Rudy Sulmonte banked a shot off the right leg pad of Deery right to Baldwin who fired in his 12th of the year and the IceRays led 4-1. Sulmonte picked up a goal of his own at the 15:38 point of the middle frame as Nick Monfils hit Charles Baldwin with a great pass throught the neutral zone. Baldwin back-handed the puck over the defender right to Sulmonte for his 28th goal of the year pushing Corpus Christi to a four goal lead, 5-1. With 1:23 remaining in the second period AJ Jarosz moved down the left wing boards and sent a wrister on net that squeezed its way through the legs of Nick Deery and the IceRays took a 6-1 lead after 40min of play. In the final period of the regular season Ryan McNeely tallied his 3rd with the IceRays and 5th overall with assists from Jarosz and Grant Hutton at 6:10 of the third period and Corpus Christi now led 7-1. Emil Romig tacked on a goal at 11:36 of the final period off a pass from Mike Economos beating Erick Majerle who replaced Nick Deery and the IceRays took an 8-1 lead just over midway through the third. Odessa tacked on another goal off a Jimmy Peplinski shot it was John Feemster who got the last touch and beat Ben Myers with 6:14 left in the game to pull the Jacks’ within six goals. Ben Myers denied 17 of 19 shots in the win.
Mike Economos and Emil Romig each scored twice as Corpus Christi IceRays held off a late push and officially qualified for the 2012-2013 NAHL Playoffs with a 7-5 win over the Odessa Jackalopes in front of 4,655 fans in the American Bank Center on Friday night. Emil Romig put the IceRays on the board at 5:44 of the first period as he took the puck to the front of the net from the right wing corner sliding it behind Odessa goaltender Nick Deery for a 1-0 lead. The goal was assisted by Perry D’Arrisso. A heads up play by Rudy Sulmonte gave the IceRays a 2-0 lead 11:07 into the game. After a Beau Walker shot, Sulmonte picked up the rebound in the left wing circle and found Emil Romig waiting in the slot for his second goal of the period and 14th on the year while on the power-play. Odessa tallied a power-play goal of their own just 46 seconds later as a shot by Corey Hoffman tricked by goaltender Hayden Stewart with the lone assist going to Jimmy Peplinski at 11:53 splitting the IceRays lead in half 2-1. The goal was Hoffman’s 4th of the year and 12th point overall. In the second period a Rudy Sulmonte shot was originally stopped by Nick Deery and hopped straight up into the air to an awaiting Charles Baldwin who batted it into the net for his 11th on the year with the second assist going to Nick Monfils at 1:58 of period two to take a 3-1 lead. Grant Hutton gave Corpus Christi a 4-1 lead at the 8:05 mark of the second frame after letting a rocket go from the top of the circle beating Deery on the glove side with the assists to John Roisum and AJ Jarosz. The goal was Hutton’s fourth of the year and third in five games. The third period was a crazy one and it started just 30 seconds in as Trace Jablin wired a shot by Hayden Stewart to split the lead in half and Corpus Christi now lead 4-2. Rudy Sulmonte answered back feeding Ryan McNeely with a give-and-go pass who returned it right back to Sulmonte for his 27th of the season and the IceRays regained a three goal 7:17 into the third. Eric Purcell then took a 5min major penalty for kneeing at 9:19 of the third but it was Mike Economos who capitalized beating Nick Deery with a wrister, his second goal of the game, this time short-handed and Corpus Christi took a 6-2 advantage. Odessa then scored three straight goals while Purcell sat in the box in a span of 60sec to pull within a goal. Mike Mezzano who was injured by Purcell responded with a power-play goal at 10:34 to get the Jackalopes within three goals. Just 54 seconds after that, Taylor Portner scored on a wrist shot from inside the left wing circle at the 11:28 mark of the final period, his 11th of the season and Odessa was two goals away from tying the game. Off the next faceoff, Brett Wagner pushed the puck up the right wing side and snapped his 4th goal of the year over the shoulder of Hayden Stewart, just six seconds later, and the Jacks’ were one goal away from tying the game. However, Mike Economos provided the insurance with 28 seconds left in the game with his second goal of the evening and the IceRays held on 7-5. Wichita Falls lost at home to Topeka 2-1 which qualified Corpus Christi for the 2012-2013 NAHL playoffs and will face the Amarillo Bulls in round one which begins next Friday and Saturday night in Amarillo. Hayden Stewart stopped 33 of 38 in the win.
The IceRays and Bulls combined for eight goals in the second period and Rudy Sulmonte had two of them, but it wasn’t enough as Amarillo scored late to pick up a 5-4 win in front of 3,711 fans at the American Bank Center on Sunday afternoon. In the first period both teams had several scoring opportunities including a Joe Ginley short-handed breakaway that was denied by Bulls netminder Collin Delia with just seconds remaining in the first. In the second period the scoring soared as the two teams combined for eight total goals setting a new season high. It started with Eric Purcell who picked up a loose puck at the top of the circle and tallied his 15th of the year beating Collin Delia at the 2:53 mark. Amarillo responded with an even-strength goal at 4:04 off the stick of Mike Davis, his 28th on the year with assists to TJ Sherman and Matt Sieckhaus and the score was even at one goal apiece. Rudy Sulmonte regained the lead for Corpus Christi with his team leading 25th of the year just 52 seconds after the Davis goal. Sulmonte took a great pass from Nick Monfils at the left wing boards and beat Delia for a 2-1 lead. Amarillo scored the next two goals to take their first lead of the night first courtesy of Tyler Rostenkowski who wristed a shot by Ben Myers from inside the left wing circle after taking a feed from Hampus Gustafsson 6:29 into the second period to even the score at two. While the IceRays were on a power-play, Omar Mullan knocked down the puck and went in on a breakaway beating Myers 8:31 into the period, a short-handed goal, and the Bulls led 3-2. Caleb O’Brien answered with a power-play goal on a scrum in front of the net to tie the game. The puck was gathered by O’Brien who back-handed a soft shot through the screen that made its way through Delia for his 5th of the year and 3rd as an IceRay. The seventh combined goal in the period came on a similar play but from Tyler Gernhofer who back-handed through a screen picking up his second goal in as many games at 14:29 and Amarillo pulled out to another lead, their second of the period 4-3. Just when it looked like the IceRays would go into the 2nd intermission trailing by a goal Emil Romig sent the puck to the front of the net and Rudy Sulmonte got his stick on it beating a sprawling Collin Delia with just 1.6 seconds left in the middle period to tie the game at four all. The Bulls replaced goaltender Collin Delia to start the third with Paul Berrafato and tallied a late goal by Matt Sieckhaus beating Myers over the shoulder from the right wing circle propelling Amarillo to a 5-4 victory and their first sweep of Corpus Christi all season. Ben Myers stopped 36 of 41 shots in the loss. Corpus Christi remains 2pts in front of 5th place Wichita Falls with just two games remaining, both against Odessa this upcoming weekend.
Rudy Sulmonte and Mike Economos each tallied a goal but it wasn’t enough as the Amarillo Bulls picked up a 4-2 victory in front of 4,871 fans inside the American Bank Center on Saturday night. The Bulls got on the board early into the game off a clean face-off win by Matt Sieckhaus. The puck went right onto the stick of Tyler Gernhofer who first a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Hayden Stewart just 3:43 into the game for a 1-0 Amarillo lead. The NAHL leading Bulls took a 2-0 advantage at 12:30 of the first period off of a big scramble in front of the net. The original shot was denied by Stewart but the rebound went right to Hampus Gustafsson who beat the diving Stewart for a 2-0 lead assisted by Dan McNamara and Ryan Cole. Another scrum formed in front of goaltender Hayden Stewart and Carter Penzien back-handed the puck through traffic and found a way to the back of the net for his 9th of the year for a 3-0 lead at 3:23 of the middle period with assists to Hampus Gustafsson and Dan McNamara. Corpus Christi responded with a power-play goal to pull within two goals. Brandon Smith hit Rudy Sulmonte with a back-door feed deflecting the puck by Paul Berrafato at 12:28 with the other assist going to Wayland Williams. The goal was Sulmonte’s team leading 23rd of the year and Corpus Christi trailed 3-1. In the third period the Bulls pulled out to a 4-1 lead with 1:48 left in the game as the puck bounced through a screen right to Clint Carlisle who tapped in an easy 14th goal of the year assisted by Omar Mullan and Mike Davis. Mike Economos scored his 13th of the season just 19 seconds later as he wired a shot over the shoulder of Paul Berrafato assisted by Ryan Chiasson to split the lead in half however Amarillo hung on for the 4-2 win. Hayden Stewart denied 35 of 39 shots in the loss.
Grant Hutton scored his second goal of the weekend which turned out to be the game winner as the Corpus Christi IceRays swept the Odessa Jackalopes with a 5-3 victory on Wednesday night inside the Ector County Coliseum. Corpus Christi got off to the start they needed after Hayden Stewart denied two chances, Luke McDiarmid fed Rudy Sulmonte with a pass in the right wing circle. Sulmonte let a wrister go that beat Erick Majerle over the shoulder at 10:49 of the first period to give the IceRays a 1-0 lead. Emil Romig picked up his 13th goal of the year sending the puck to the front of the net from the right wing boards that caromed off a skate and found a way through the legs of Majerle for a 2-0 lead at 12:46 of the opening period. The lone assist was credited to Ryan Chiasson. After missing 17 games with a leg injury, Perry D’Arrisso converted in his first game back. Emil Romig took the puck on the left wing boards and hit D’Arrisso in front of the net who buried his 18th of the year at 13:32 of the first with the other assist going to Rudy Sulmonte. After the goal Odessa replaced Erick Majerle with Nick Deery between the pipes. In the second period the IceRays pulled out to a 4-0 lead when Grant Hutton let a rocket go from the left point that beat Nick Deery between the legs at 3:33 of the period assisted by Brandon Smith. The Jackalopes began a comeback with two straight goals in the second. John Feemster took a shot from the right point that found the back of the net at 5:07 of the middle frame. It was Feemster’s second goal of the year assisted by Matt Volonnino and Mike Mezzano. Odessa split the lead in half moments later on the power-play as Perry D’Arrisso sat in the box. Chris Taff took a shot from the left point that was deflected by Dylan Campbell at 5:49 of the second period with the other assist going to Stephen Inman. After two periods the shots were even at 31 aside. In the third period with only 2:37 left in the game Taylor Portner brought Odessa within a goal picking up his 9th of the year deflecting a shot by Hayden Stewart assisted by Dylan Campbell and Anthony Olguin. Corpus Christi held after Andrew Paras picked up an empty net goal, unassisted, with 1:18 left in the game to seal a 5-3 victory. Hayden Stewart stopped 17 of 18 shots in the third period and denied 46 of 49 total in the win