The Kenai River Brown Bears lost their opening game Wednesday of the 2014 North American Hockey League Showcase in a 5-2 contest to the Corpus Christi Ice Rays in Blaine, Minnesota.
Anthony Cortese scored a hat trick for the Ice Rays, tallying goals in the first period (10 minutes, 18 seconds) and the second (6:27 and 16:58). Corpus Christi teammate Nathan Bryer scored the other two goals, both coming in the third period.
Kenai River twice responded with a game-tying goal. Gustav Berglund took advantage of a Brown Bears powerplay to score with 2 1-2 minutes left in the first period, getting help from Matt Rudin and Chris Usov. After Corpus Christi score early in the second frame, Nate Colwell answered back with a goal, getting an assist from Tyler Andrews.
Cortese scored the gamewinner with 3:02 left in the second period.
Zach Quinn took the loss in goal for Kenai River, saving 18 of 23 shots. Both teams split evenly on shots on goal with 23 apiece.
The Brown Bears will face the Lone Star Brahmas today at 2 p.m. ADT.
Ice Rays 5, Brown Bears 2
Corpus Christi 1 2 2 —5
Kenai River 1 1 0 —2
1st Period — 1. Corpus Christi, Cortese (LeLievre, Kelly), 10:18; 2. Kenai River, Berglund (Rudin, Usov), PP, 17:30. Penalties — Corpus Christi 2 for 4:00.
2nd Period — 3. Corpus Christi, Cortese (Laburn, Lomsnes), PP, 6:27; 4. Kenai River, Colwell (Andrews), 9:23; 5. Corpus Christi, Cortese (Kelly, Bryer), 16:58. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
3rd Period — 6. Corpus Christi, Bryer (Kelly), 5:21; 7. Corpus Christi, Bryer (unassisted), 17:28. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Corpus Christi 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai River 8-8-7—23; Corpus Christi 10-7-6—23.
Goalies — Kenai River, Quinn (23 shots, 18 saves); Corpus Christi, Lindgren (23 shots, 21 saves).
Power plays — Kenai River 1 for 3; Corpus Christi 1 for 2.