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Game Preview: Jacks vs. Rays (Dec. 3)

Odessa Jackalopes vs. Corpus Christi IceRays

ODA (10-8-2) COR (6-12-3)

Thursday, December 3, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.

Ector County Coliseum – Odessa, TX

Tonight’s Matchup: The Odessa Jackalopes and Corpus Christi IceRays battle it out for the third time this season on Thursday night. Odessa is looking to move to 3-0 versus their South division foes and take a strangle hold on the fourth and final playoff spot. After Thursday, Odessa and Corpus will play nine more times in the regular season. The Jacks are 16-26-4 all-time against the Rays.

Last Time Out: The Odessa Jackalopes allowed the first five goals of the game Saturday, including four goals in the first period and eventually lost to the Wichita Falls Wildcats, 6-3, at Ector County Coliseum. After a sluggish start, Odessa responded with three goals in the second. Gray Marr got Odessa on the board with a top shelf snipe over the shoulder of Julian Sime at 9:30. The Jacks cut the Wildcats lead down to three when Eric Carreras netted his 10th of the year on a great feed from Oliver Celec at 11:35. After the Cats had scored again, Daniel Kiraly snuck one short side at 18:40 to make it 6-3. Neither team scored in the final frame and Odessa would go onto to lose.

All-Day Gray: Jacks winger Gray Marr, 20, has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) in his last 10 games, including a goal in each game versus Wichita Falls last weekend. His seven-game point streak is the longest current streak in the NAHL. Marr is second on the Jacks in points, 18 (6 goals, 12 points), and is third in goals. With the Humboldt Broncos (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) in 2014-15, Marr appeared in 52 games, collecting 42 points (10 goals, 32 assist).

New Addition: Jacks newest addition, forward Jon Russell, 17, collected an assist in his debut against Wichita Falls on Saturday. Russell was released by the Des Moines Buccaneers (United States Hockey League) earlier in the week and signed by Odessa. Russell attended Odessa’s training camp in August but declined a roster spot after making the Bucs. With Des Moines, Russell appeared in 5 games, collecting zero points with a -1 rating. Russell is committed to Harvard University (NCAA, D1) in 2017-18.

Big Green’ Dean: Jacks goaltender and Dartmouth College Big Green (NCAA D1) commit, Dean Shatzer, 19, has been simply sensational between the pipes for Odessa in his last two games. Shatzer has stopped 77 of 79 shots he has faced. Although he took a hard-luck shootout loss Friday, Shatzer made 34 saves on 35 shots; he is now 4-5-0-2 on the season with a 2.90 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Carreras Cruising: Jacks forward Eric Carreras, 20, has continued to produce throughout the season and is now tied for the team lead in goals (10) and is fourth on the team in points with 16 (10 goals, 6 assists). Carreras collected his first goal in his last seven games on Saturday against Wichita Falls.

Hellebuyck Moves to 2-0: Former Jacks Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, 22, earned a 6-1 win for the Winnipeg Jets over the Toronto Maple Leafs in his second NHL game and home debut, Wednesday night, at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, MB. Hellebuyck made 32 saves on 33 shots to move to 2-0-0 in the NHL. Hellebuyck backstopped Odessa to its lone postseason appearance in 2012, going 26-21-8 on the year, earning Rookie of the Year Honors.

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.