Herndon scores in return, but Tornado blown out 6-1
The Texas Tornado came into Thursday's game against the Corpus Christi IceRays as winners of five of their last seven games. But four IceRays goals in the first period propelled them to a 6-1 win over the Tornado at Dr Pepper Arena. Corpus Christi goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 29 of 30 saves in his 11th win of the season.
The first of four Corpus Christi goals was scored on a breakaway by AJ Jarosz at the 2:55 mark of the first period. Jarosz took a stretch pass from Frank Misuraca and was behind the Tornado defense when he broke into the zone and put a shot on Jutras that was initially stopped, but tricked over the goal line and in to open the scoring.
As the midway point of the first period approached, the IceRays struck again. The time, Joe Smereck found Greg Chapman breaking to the net and gave him the puck as he approached the crease. Chapman couldn’t get it past Jutras, but Beau Walker did after finding the puck waiting at the goal line. Walker knocked it home and gave the IceRays a 2-0 lead.
Next up was Joe Ginley, who had the puck behind the net but walked it out to the base of the left-wing circle before spinning and firing it past Jutras, who was replaced after the goal by Reid Mimmack. But at the 17:25 mark, Walker took a wrist shot from the high slot that got past Mimmack and gave the IceRays a 4-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The IceRays were held to just one goal in the second period, but the Tornado were once again held off the board, as Ginley’s second goal of the game gave the IceRays a 5-0 advantage. This one came on an odd-man rush with Chris Taff. Taff skated down the left wing and connected with Ginley in the slot, who rifled it past Mimmack for the only goal of the second period.
The game marred the return of Taylor Herndon, who played in his first game in two months and scored the lone Tornado goal at 6:47 of the third period. He came into the zone with Marc Biggs, who found Herndon cutting towards the net with a cross-ice pass to the far post. Herndon was there to put it in and get the Tornado on the board.
But the IceRays regained their five-goal advantage in the final minute of play when, with Corpus Christi on a 5-on-3, Jarosz netted his second goal of the game on a one-time from the top of the right-wing circle to give the IceRays a 6-1 lead.
The Tornado will be back on the ice at Dr Pepper Arena on Friday night against the Odessa Jackalopes. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.