CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Thursday was not the Brahmas night as they found themselves on the wrong side of both a hat trick and a shutout, falling 3-0 to the Corpus Christi IceRays.
All but 1.2 seconds were left in the first when Carter Johnson received a fortuitous bounce off of a face-off and beat Conor O’Brien with a slick wrister to give his team the 1-0 lead late in the opening frame.
The feeling of deflation appeared to have set in immediately for the Brahmas and to make matters worse they just could not beat opposing netminder Dryden McKay under any circumstance throughout the night despite taking a commanding lead in shots on goal through the remaining 40 minutes.
Johnson continued his impressive night when with 2:28 left in the second he picked up a free puck in the slot and beat O’Brien backhand. “OB” was making a play on the puck as well and when Johnson beat him to it he was well out of position, leaving the 4×6 relatively empty and for the taking.
With scoring twice in the first two periods, the repetition continued for the Manitoba native in third. While his team was down short-handed and the Brahmas having their netminders pulled, Johnson blocked not one, but two shots in his own zone and steered a puck the length of the ice and into the empty net.
Hats rained down on the American Bank Center, capping off the scoring on the evening’s contest. For the IceRays', Johnson's hat trick is the first by any player for them this season and McKay's shutout is his first of the season.
With the regulation loss, Conor O’Brien’s record moves to 9-4-3-2 on the season. He made 11 saves on 13 shots in the effort.
The two teams will go to battle again tomorrow night at the same time and same place. Round four of the five game stretch will get underway at 7:11 PM. Catch all the action on FASTHockey.com.