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Friday Finals: Jacks, IceRays get big wins

January 2, 2016

Graham Hunt made 20 saves for his first shutout of the year as Corpus Christi blanked Topeka on Friday, 3-0.

Corpus Christi 3 @ Topeka 0 - The Corpus Christi IceRays claimed their first shutout of the year with a 3-0 blanking of the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday night at the Kansas Expocentre. The win is their fourth-straight, the longest win streak of the season, and their third in four days. With the first power play of the contest, IceRays forward Drake Lindsay took a shot from the right point that sailed through traffic at 7:06 for his first power play goal of the year and to take a 1-0 lead. The IceRays created numerous turnovers in the second period and found life and more goals. At 2:29, forward Brad LeLievre took away the puck in the right corner and walked into the crease, jabbing the puck through the netminder and doubling the lead, 2-0. The same unit created another chance just before mid-way through the period, and forward Toby Kircher jammed home the puck to triple the lead, 3-0.  Topeka forward Quinn Preston rushed in on a short-handed breakaway not long later and was turned away by IceRays netminder Graham Hunt, who held off the RoadRunners for the rest of the contest to maintain the 3-0 win. Hunt earned his first shutout of the year and his fourth-straight win, stopping all 20 shots faced, while RoadRunners goaltender Tyler Johnson picked up the loss, turning aside 21 of 24 shots. Boxscore

Lone Star 2 @ Odessa 3 - The Odessa Jackalopes entered Friday’s game losers of nine straight, but Former Lone Star Brahmas' Gunner Rivers and Eric Carreras powered their new club to the first win of 2016, 3-2, at Ector County Coliseum Friday night. Rivers made 25 saves on 27 shots to earn his first win since November 14 and his first win against his former club. In the opening period, Eric Carreras collected a perfect feed from Brandon Tucker in the high slot and ripped it past an unsuspecting Connor O’Brien at 4:08. The Brahmas found themselves on the man advantage three times in the first, but it was at even strength that they were able to tie the game 1-1 after Cody Wickline redirected a Dalton Skelly shot past Gunner Rivers at 11:36. While on the penalty kill Zach Zech snuck a short-side top-shelf snapshot over the shoulder of O’Brien to give the Jacks a 2-1 lead on the teams eighth shorthanded goal of the year. In the third, Derek Brown fluttered a two-on-one pass to Matthew Rypien who perfectly played it around a sprawled out O'Brien and dumped it in the open net. Peter Kessel made it close with a high slot snipe at 17:04 but the Jacks held off the Brahmas in the final minutes to earn the 3-2 win. Conor O’Brien suffered his third straight loss and just his second regulation loss of the year, making 23 saves on 26 shots. Boxscore
 
 
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