Tornado drop second straight in loss to IceRays
After an overtime loss to Topeka in their last game, the Texas Tornado dropped two in a row for the first time this season in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Corpus Christi IceRays on Wednesday. Joakim Jutras made 21 of 24 saves for the Tornado, but it wasn’t enough to fend off the IceRays, who got two goals from AJ Jarosz in their win..
The two teams played a scoreless first period, though Corpus Christi had a goal disallowed halfway through the period. After Jutras stopped the initial shot, a collision jarred the puck free and over the goal line. The red light came on, but referee Andrew Suhovic emphatically waved no goal, and the game remained scoreless.
Taylor Herndon opened up the game’s scoring early in the second period thanks to an excellent forecheck. After John Kirtland dumped the puck in, the IceRays attempted to break out from behind their own net. Herndon intercepted a pass, however, and scored on a wraparound to beat IceRays goalie Anthony Stolarz.
The IceRays managed to tie the game after another collision in front of the Tornado goal. With the IceRays on the powerplay, Eric Purcell took a pass on the right wing and came into the zone. His wrist shot from the circle was stopped, but Michael Hoy collided with his goaltender and the puck found its way into the net at the 16:48 mark of the second period.
Corpus Christi seized the momentum from its late second period goal and pulled ahead in the third. After killing off a penalty to begin the period, Jarosz won an offensive zone faceoff back to Justin Lutsch. Lutsch shot it towards goal, where it was deflected by Jarosz and past Jutras to give the IceRays the lead.
With just over four minutes to play in the third, Jarosz struck again. This time, the IceRays broke into the Tornado zone on a 3-on-1. Purcell skated to the right-wing circle and found Jarosz at the back post for the easy tip-in to put the Tornado away.
The game didn’t come without its share of fisticuffs. Early in the second period, Mico Solorzano took exception to Brandon Smith’s hit of Tyler Rostenkowski behind the net, and dropped the gloves to let him know. Then, with under a minute to play in the second, John Kirtland committed a checking-from-behind penalty. Seth Blair tracked him down behind the play and fought him, earning himself an instigating minor and game misconduct in addition to the fighting major.
With the loss, Tornado head coach Tony Curtale remains one win shy of the all-time United States Junior Hockey record of 529 wins.Texas and the IceRays will be back in action tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. from AmericanBank Center in Corpus Christi.