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Jacks doomed by slow start, lose 4-1 to TOP

Topeka, Kansas (JAN 16, 2015) – The Odessa Jackalopes allowed a pair of goals in each of the first two periods to the Topeka RoadRunners and couldn’t recover Saturday night at Kansas ExpoCentre falling 4-1.

In the first, the Topeka’s Marshall Bowery (1) fired a shot from the top of the far circle on an odd-man rush, beating Gunner Rivers to break the early deadlock at 5:50. After a Jacks turnover in the offensive zone, Marcus Russell (13) received a 2-on-1 feed from Jeff Makowski and went around Rivers to make it 2-0, resulting in head coach Greg Gatto making a goaltending change to Dean Shatzer.

In the second, Odessa began the period on the power play, but failed to muster any real scoring chances and Topeka pushed their lead to three when Bowery snuck (2) a wrist shot under the left pad of Shatzer on a 2-on-1 at 9:09. Topeka’s Russell continued his red-hot series by tipping a Tyler Hayes (14) shot past Shatzer at 16:19 to make it 4-0.

Gray Marr (9) finally got Odessa on the board in the third at 9:05, but Odessa couldn’t add any more offense in the final period, falling 4-1 in game two of three. Both teams ended Saturday 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.

Despite only playing a part of the first, Gunner Rivers (7-8-1) took the loss in 11:03 of work, making seven saves on nine shots. Dean Shatzer finished the remainder of the game, making 19 saves on 21 shots. Juho Niku (7-2-1) earned the win making 25 saves on 26 shots en route to his third career win against Odessa.

The Jacks and RoadRunners will wrap-up their three-game series Sunday night as Odessa looks to avoid a sweep and snap a five-game losing streak. The Jacks returns back to Ector County Coliseum on Jan. 29-30 for two games against Lone Star.

In 2015-16, the Odessa Jackalopes will embark upon their fifth season in the North American Hockey League and 19th in the Permian Basin. Season tickets are on sale now! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all year long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.