SteelHounds' late bid foiled by Rayz
Youngstown tried in vain to tie the game in the waning seconds, then lost, 4-2.
By JOHN KOVACH
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown SteelHounds tried everything they could during a last-ditch attempt to tie the game in the waning seconds of Friday night's Central Hockey League game against the Corpus Christi Rayz.
Trailing 3-2, the SteelHounds swarmed to the net like bees, unleashing shot after shot against goalie Scott Reid, only to have the big goalie spurn the attack and turn back every attempt.
Youngstown even took goalie Simon St. Pierre out of the game and left their goal unguarded within the final minute and replaced him with another player, just to give the team a 5-4 man advantage to help them get the equalizing goal, but that even backfired.
Because Chris Robertson of Corpus Christi got control of the puck as the clock wound down and connected for a goal in the vacated net on an assist from Jay Hardwick with 19:47 gone from the 20-minute period, to give the Rayz a 4-2 victory before an announced crowd of 4,754 at the Chevrolet Center.
The SteelHounds (6-8-1 in the Northeast Division) and Rayz (7-7-0 in the Southwest Division) return to the Chevrolet Center tonight for a rematch at 7:05.
Couldn't penetrate goalie
"He [Reid] was the No. 1 goalie in the league last year," said SteelHounds' coach Jean LaForest of the astute Rayz goalie who repelled 15 shots in the final period, most of them bunched together down the stretch. "He is a big guy and he covers a lot of the net. He positions himself very well. That is a very good combination that will not allow too much of the net [to be open]."
Regarding leaving the SteelHounds' net unguarded for the final 50 seconds of the game, LaForest said that, "You can do it as long as [you] keep the puck on their side of the ice," but the opposite occurred. Of course by then (19:47), it already was too late.
Ryan Carter was Corpus Christi's offensive bellwether with two goals in the second period that tied the game and gave his team the lead for good.
The Rayz rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie it at 2-2 on Carter's 20-foot powerplay goal at 3:05 ET on an assist from Randy Murphy.
Then Carter struck again on a shorthanded goal about 6 minutes later, as he took the puck down the ice by himself, faked out goalie Simon St. Pierre and slammed in home to break the tie at 12:00 ET for a 3-2 lead.
Carter's second goal costly
"The second-period [Carter's second goal] cost us the game," said LaForest. "The shorthanded goal that gave them a 3-2 lead was [the clincher]. We were on the power play then, and we haven't been very aggressive on the power play.
LaForest said he took out goalie St. Pierre and left net unguarded for about the final 50 seconds to give the SteelHounds an extra man on the ice to try to score and tie the game, but the opposite occurred.
"You can do that as long as you keep the puck on their side of the ice," he said, but that didn't happen, referring to the final goal. Of course, by then (19:47) it already was too late.
Youngstown took the lead at 1-0 on Darryl Lloyd's unassisted, 20-foot goal that was his ninth goal of the season at 6:51 ET of the first period.
But the advantage was short-lived as Josh Miskovich scored for the Rayz just 51 seconds later from close range on a power play with assists from Blair Stayzer and Christopher Robertson at 7:42 ET.
However, just 27 seconds later, Jeff Christian retaliated on a power play on assists from Chris Richards and Jonathan Gagnow to put give the SteelHounds a 2-1 lead after the first period.
Youngstown enjoyed a 37-24 advantage in shots, including 15-8 in the third period. Reid finished with 35 saves while St. Pierre had 21.