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Game Preview: Jacks vs. Rays (March 26)

Tonight’s Matchup: The Jacks look for a series sweep against the Rays Saturday night while also regaining sole possession of the final South Division playoff spot. A win Saturday would be Odessa’s fourth straight at AmericanBank Center after not winning a single game in the building last season. Odessa is 19-30-6 all-time against the Rays (2011).

Last Time Out: Noah Poindexter and Jon Russell each scored for Odessa in the 1st period Friday, and Jackalopes held on for a huge 3-1 victory over the Corpus Christi IceRays at AmericanBank Center. Jon Flakne (7-3-0) was tremendous in the win stopping 34 of the 35 shots he faced. The Jacks took the opening period lead when Poindexter (1) jammed home his first career NAHL goal at 5:14, after Brandon Tucker’s initial shot was stopped by Corpus’s Dryden McKay. Russell (4) added to the Odessa lead by sneaking behind the Rays defense and beating McKay on a nifty breakaway move to make it 2-0 at 15:28. After a scoreless 2nd, The IceRays made it interesting when Brendan Miller (6) snuck home his team's first goal of the game at 7:22 of the 3rd.  But, the Jacks ruined Corpus’s comeback hopes when Derek Brown (13) buried the empty netter at 19:07. Dryden McKay (13-12-2) suffered the loss stopping 41 of 43 shots faced.

Stop, Hampus Time: Jacks center-man Hampus Sjodahl’s four-game goal streak was snapped Saturday, but the Stockholm, SWE native extended his current point streak to five games (5-3-8). The Bemidji State (WCHA, D1) committed forward is second in the NAHL in goals (34), only behind Fairbanks’ Todd Burgess (35), and is tied for third in points (64) in the NAHL. Sjodahl has points in 16 of his last 17 games (15-10-24) with a plus-seven rating.

Brown’s Town: Jacks left-wing Derek Brown potted a game-sealing empty-netter Friday and now has points in 21 of his last 22 games (9-23-32). Brown’s 44 assist this year is a single-season franchise record for a Jack, surpassing Kenny Hausinger’s 43 set last season. The Peoria, AZ native is tied for 5th in the NAHL in points (58) and his 16-game point streak he set earlier this year is both a league long and a franchise record. Brown is currently on a five-game points streak (2-7-9).

Don Jon: Jackalopes forward Jon Russell potted his fourth goal of the year Friday, which turned out to be his first career game winner. The tally snapped an eight-game goalless drought in the prosses. Russell now has four goals and 11 assists in 36 games with the Jacks after beginning the year with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL).

Dexter: Jacks center-man Noah Poindexter has been a force since he joined the club last weekend. The Grand Rapids, MI native potted his first career NAHL Friday and now has points in all four games played thus far (1-3-4). Poindexter, a Jacks affiliate, appeared in 31 games with Fox Motors (T1EHL) tallying nine goals and 12 assists.

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.