Tonight’s Matchup: The Odessa Jackalopes look for a series sweep Saturday night Ector County Coliseum as they take on the Corpus Christi IceRays in game two of the weekend set. A win Saturday for Odessa would match the two wins the Jacks had all of last year versus Corpus and would also be the first sweep against the ‘Rays since Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2011.
About Last Night: The Odessa Jackalopes used four special teams goals and 24 saves from Dean Shatzer to beat the Corpus Christi IceRays, 5-3, Friday night. The Jackalopes never went on the power play in the first period, but they capitalized on the ‘Rays lone man-advantage when Derek Brown (2) ripped a perfect feed from Oliver Celec past Corpus’s Drydan McKay to give the Jacks a 1-0 lead at 8:34. In the second, Corpus found the equalizer when Brad Power scored on a turnover at 5:21. The Jacks went on the their first power play at 6:56 of the second and didn’t wait to regain the lead when Brandon Tucker (3) jammed home a loose puck at 8:28. The Jacks extended its lead and made it two-for-two on the man advantage when Hamus Sjodahl redirected a shot from the point off his rear at 10:02 of the second to give the Jacks a 3-1 lead. In the third frame, Brad LeLievre cut the Jacks lead back down to one when he beat Shatzer top shelf from the top of the crease. Odessa regained its two-goal advantage when Celec (6) banked a shot off McKay at 15:49. Corpus wouldn’t give up; at 17:29 Michael Bevilacqua fired a one-timer past Shatzer on a perfect 2-on-1 feed from Nathan Bryer. The Jacks finally sealed the victory when Cooper Zech (1) scored an unassisted empty net tally at 19:10 to make it 5-3.
Butt Fumble: Jacks forward Hampus Sjodahl, 20, redirected his eighth goal of the season of his rear in the second period of Friday’s game. While the Sweedish forward has scored his previous seven goals with his stick, the second year Jack has become one of Odessa’s most reliable threats. Sjodahl is second on the team in goals with eight and is tied for second with 14 points. In 55 games last year with Odessa, he had 34 points (19 goals, 15 assists).
Extra Special Teams: Jackalopes specials teams were dominant Friday night, accounting for four of the five goals scored. Odessa ended the game 3-for-4 on the power play and scored its second shorthanded goal of the season. Odessa is scoring on the man advantage 21.28% of the time, which is the third best rate in all of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and the second best in the South Division only behind Wichita Falls (24.66%).
Mean Dean: Jackalopes goaltender Dean Shatzer, 19, picked up his third win of the year Friday, making 24 saves on 27 shots. The Castle Rock, CO native is 2-0-1 at home this season and 3-4-1 overall with a 3.21 GAA and a .903 SV%. Shatzer is committed to play at Dartmouth College (NCAA D1) in 2016-17. Last year, Shatzer had a 1.78 GAA and a .935 SV% in his senior year at Culver Academy in Culver, IN.
Super Celec: Jacks forward Oliver Celec, 19, has scored a goal in every home game this season. The Gothenburg, Sweden native is now 6-for-6 at Ector County Coliseum. On Friday, Celec got the scoring started in the first period when he shoveled a perfect pass to Derek Brown on a 2-on-1 and Brown finished off the feed for his second goal of the year. Celec ended Friday with two points (1 goal, 1 assist) and is now tied for fourth on the team in goals (6) and tied for third in points (12).
Jackalopes Broadcast: Join the voice of the Jacks’ Nick Nollenberger live for every game on the Jacks’ flagship station Classic Rock 102.1 FM and fasthockey.com.