Despite the success the Wildcats have had against the IceRays, their troubles on the road were paramount this past weekend, as they dropped two games in Corpus Christi, 5-2 on Thursday and 4-3 in overtime on Friday.
Things looked to start strongly on Thursday for the Wildcats as Patrick Yudez tapped home a rebound off Tyler Hope’s shot for an early 1-0 lead. But for 25 minutes, the Wildcats sputtered, not getting any additional offense, while Corpus Christi put up five unanswered goals. Perry D’Arrisso won a race to a loose puck and slid it in for a 1-1 game. In the second period, Beau Walker, A.J. Jarosz, Joe Smereck, and Eric Purcell all scored for the IceRays to put the game out of reach for the Wildcats. Tanner Fahlstedt got a goal back early in the third, redirecting Nate Myeroff’s shot in an effort to start a comeback, but the three-goal deficit was as close as the Wildcats could get.
The IceRays’ momentum seemed to carry over into Friday night as well, with Brandon Smith and Eric Purcell tallying first period goals for a 2-0 Corpus Christi lead. The Wildcats looked like they had gotten one back as Chris Pontello walked in along the goal line and around Corpus Christi netminder Anthony Stolarz, slipping the puck in the net, but the goal was called off as the referee stated that he was in the crease before the puck. Adding insult to injury, the IceRays extended their lead out to 3-0 with a puck bouncing off a defenseman’s skate and into the net.
But the Wildcats proved that no lead is safe, as Patrick Yudez struck again to break up the shutout 15 seconds into the third, followed just over a minute later by Tyler Bruneteau jamming a puck home on a goal-mouth scramble for a 3-2 game. The Wildcats outshot the IceRays 20-5 in the third period, and tied the game on a 3-on-2 rush, culminating in Zach Pochiro ripping a wrister glove side on Stolarz with 8:25 to go.
The ‘Cats kept pressing in the third, and even had a successful two-man penalty kill for 1:35. The game went to overtime where IceRays’ captain Frank Misuraca scored the game-winner, coming off the left wing boards with the puck and ripping off a shot from the top of the circles past Jojo Jeanetta. Jeanetta stopped 32 of 36 shots in the game.