OKLAHOMA CITY – Malte Hasselgren scored and had two assists to help the Oklahoma Warriors take a 4-2 final over the Corpus Christi IceRays and become the first team to clinch a spot in the 2023 Robertson Cup Playoffs at Blazers Ice Centre Friday.
Oklahoma did not require much time to open the scoring in the second period after a relatively quiet first that saw a 17-9 shot advantage for the home team. Will Brenner and Owen Carlile set up Rylan Brady for his 20th goal of the season 63 seconds into the frame. The Warriors went up 2-0 a little over 11 minutes later when Cole Teleki drifted into the zone from neutral and was set up by Hasselgren and DelGreco for his fifth. Hasselgren then fed Drew Sutton’s 21st of the season off a 2-on-1 setup from Therien Thiesing at 16:33. The Warriors took their 3-0 score, and 33-14 shot differential into the intermission.
The IceRays found the back of the net first in the third period to creep within two goals, but Hasselgren and Sutton got it right back. Sutton helped the puck out of the zone to Hasselgren, who busted up the far side of the ice and made a fake-out “Kucherov” move to make it 4-1 with 7:04 remaining. Corpus Christi found the back of the net one more time, but Oklahoma held on to win 4-2.
The two teams will meet Saturday at Blazers Ice Centre over a 7:15 p.m. puck drop for the final meeting of the regular season.