Standings in South Division: 3rd
Last Ten Games: 7-2-0-1
Last week was an enormous week for your Warriors as they played three games in four days. After defeating the Mudbugs at home, they had to quickly set their sights on the visiting IceRays, who, at this time, are looking to play the role of spoilers for the rest of the season.
These two teams have played each other close all season, and Friday’s game was no different.
After the first period, it was tied at 0-0 with both goaltenders, Stefan Carney and Brandon Milberg, pitching a shutout after twenty minutes of play. Neither team was able to capitalize on their power play opportunity.
Period two saw an explosion of offense, as both teams scored three goals aside. Cade Lemmer snagged a goal on the ER-Now powerplay at the 3:32 mark of the period. His 19th goal of the season would not stand for long, as Colby Seitz would open the scoring for the IceRays and even the score at 1-1.
Philip Tornqvist sniped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Carney and regained the lead at 13:51 of the second period. His 16th of the season and the Warriors would regain some momentum.
Davis Borozinskis is officially a goal scorer in the NAHL, as he collected a pass from the corner and cut toward the slot, beating Milberg and evening up the score and both teams meeting at the center face-off dot.
On the next possession, Joey DelGreco, who was playing in his first NAHL game, would pick up the puck from the boards from a high flip into the zone. He showed his poise and playmaking ability, as he would bait Carney into committing to a shot before delivering a saucer pass to Drew Vieten and taking the lead 17 seconds after losing it.
The Warriors would give up a shorthanded goal to Corpus Christi forward Michael Casey, as he would bat the puck out of midair off a rebound from a sharp angle shot. Casey’s goal would give the IceRays the 11th shorthanded goal for the season at 18:16 in the second period. The second buzzer would tie the score with a score of 3-3.
The first part of the third period would be a feeling-out process until Tornqvist rocketed a slapshot past the IceRays’s netminder to regain the one-goal lead. That would be his second of the game and 17th goal of the season.
The flood gates would open from that point forward as Dean Bauchiero would clean up a scramble in front of the IceRays net to get his 5th of the season. A couple of minutes later, Dominick Rivelli would have a shorthanded goal, cutting toward the slot and splitting the Corpus Christi defense to put the score at 6-3 with a little under eight minutes to play.
Casey would snag another goal, this time on the powerplay at 14:25, giving the IceRays some momentum as they would push to the end of the game with an extra attacker. Still, Carter Korpi seals the deal with an empty net goal and a Warriors victory.
Milberg stopped 50 of the 54 shots on goal while earning his 20th win of the 2021-2022 season. Carney would end his perfect road starting streak at five games and collect his 8th loss this year.
This would be the fifth time these two teams would decide a game by one goal in the eight games played.
Daniel Duris and Damon Beaver would get the starts in their respective nets, but it would be Beaver giving up the first goal with a little under five minutes left to play. Joey DelGreco, coming off an impressive debut game the night before, would collect his first NAHL goal by regaining control of his initial rebound and sliding it past the pads of the IceRay goaltender.
That would be the lone goal of the period with a score of 1-0.
The Warriors would test the opposing netminder in the middle frame by putting 23 shots on goal and lighting the lamp twice. Bauchiero would claim his second of the weekend by mopping up a rebound from Beaver to put the score 2-0 at the 6:17 mark.
Corpus Christi forward Lincoln Whitaker would grab his first NAHL goal to bring the game back to a one-goal lead for the Warriors, and it would stay that way until Rivelli would score on a dropped pass in the slot to take a two-goal margin into the locker room with a score of 3-1.
The IceRays would not go down without a fight, as Colby Seitz collected his 10th of the season 3:10 into the final period to make it a one-score hockey game.
Cameron Crolley makes the Warriors pay for a defensive zone turnover, skate right to the crease, and roofed it high on Duris to tie the game with 12:31 left in regulation. The Warriors would get a chance on their league-leading power play, but it would be unsuccessful with the back half of the period left to play.
Adisen Brueck would cut hard to the net as Bauchiero fired a shot toward the IceRays net. The puck would take a friendly bounce off the back of Brueck’s skate and give the Warriors the lead at 13:06 in the period. Corpus Christi empties their net with 90 seconds left to play, but it would not be enough as the Warriors would sweep the weekend.
Duris stopped 42 of 45 shots for his 7th win. Beaver would continue his losing streak with four consecutive losses in a row for him.
It will be Military Appreciation Weekend for the Warriors as we welcome the New Mexico Ice Wolves to town this April 1st and 2nd for a pair of games starting at 7:05 p.m.
Specialty jerseys will be worn for the occasion, commemorating those that have fought, and are currently fighting for their country. A live auction will be held after the game on Saturday night, so come on out and help defend the falls in the final home series of the regular season.
Written by: Scott Masom