The Jacks had already taken home two points on the weekend and were looking to double it. The two overtime losses in the previous two games are part of three-straight overtime games between the Jackalopes and the Wildcats. Odessa would be playing a couple guys short as Hogue and MacKellar were still injured, Maia was still overseas, Wood was serving the 2nd of a 2 game suspension from a high sticking call on Thursday, Levi Wunder broke his hand in a Friday night overtime debacle, and Connor Stuart, who was supposed to return, was suspended indefinitely and his hit from Thursday was being reviewed further by the league.
Saturday was the final day the Jackalopes would be wearing their superman jerseys, as there would be an auction after the game to raise money for the Joshua Frase Foundation to help find the cure for Myotubular Myopothy.
The Odessa Jackalopes hosted their third annual Teddy Bear Toss night, and the scariest thing is always the thought of not scoring a goal on a night like that. Fortunately for Odessa, it did not take long. 1:13 into the first period, Tyler Pietrowski cut into the neutral zone and in the high slot, was able to snipe one past Wildcats goaltender Evan Moyse for the 1-0 lead, allowing the teddy bears to come out.
The total count we had on the teddy bears was 1,100, with all teddy bears being donated to local kids in need.
The game was back-and-forth from that point forward as the Wildcats scored a goal to tie the game at 1-1 late in the 1st period.
Second period started as a tie before Jaden Anderson received a pass from Chris Donaldson, jumped around to deke a defender, and took about 4 strides in the offensive zone before taking a shot past Moyse in net. The goal by Anderson was his 6th on the season and his 2nd in as many games.
In a period where Anderson puts the Jacks ahead, the period was highlighted by two fights. Riley Bechard crashed the net a received a shove from Jonathan Waring before they two decided to drop the gloves. Waring started the battle with the majority of shots before Bechard retalitated, taking Waring to the ice. The two were sent off the rest of the period and given 15 total penalty minutes.
With only 29 seconds remaining in the 2nd period, Zach Zech took a shot from the right wing circle before getting hit high from Roman Kinal. Zech didn’t like the hit and the two of them dropped the gloves quickly for a fight of their own. Zech delivered blow after blow, with Kinal’s knee touching the ice before Zech pulled him back up and gave him a couple more. The officials stepped in between and finally pulled the brawl apart. Losing Zech and Bechard could have been detrimental to Odessa as they were already playing with only 19 players, but the Jacks didn’t allow a goal until they were back at full strength.
With a 2-1 lead and just over a minute remaining, Wichita Falls pulled their goaltender to give them the extra attacker. Flakne made a couple of big saves before a shot off the stick of Ricky Carballo found the back of the net for the tie game with only 46 seconds remaining to take the game into overtime.
The Jackalopes overtime record was 0-3 on the season entering the overtime period on Saturday. The clock was winding down in OT and the thought of a shootout started to loom in the minds of players, coaches, and fans before Chase Thudium received the puck and slid into the slot. Thudium’s shot beat one defender and Moyse in net for the Jacks first overtime victory of the season. Down, but never out, has been the story for Odessa all season long, and the Jacks are now showing the rest of the league, it’s more than just a slogan.
Jon Flakne was in net, saving 39 of 41 shots on the night, and taking 3 of 4 total points in his two weekend games, with the Jacks taking 4 of 6 total points for the weekend as a whole.
Odessa has the next two weeks off and will return the weekend of December 29/30 for two home games against the Amarillo Bulls before traveling to Amarillo on New Years Eve.