The Odessa Jackalopes entered Friday night’s contest trailing the Corpus Christi IceRays for the final playoff spot by 8 points in the division. Leading the season series 3-1 and perfect in the American Bank Center this season, everything looked to be in Odessa’s favor.
Corpus Christi got their fans into it early as Larry Jungwirth netted the first of the game for either side. Jungwirth skated into the offensive zone and snapped a shot past Jacks’ goaltender, Jonny Hogue, for the 1-0 lead.
Odessa would retaliate as Chase Thudium continued his streak with a point in his seventh straight game. Odessa dumped the puck and the IceRays relaxed efforts allowed Stenlund to pull the stick away from the defense and find Thudium in the slot. Thudium saw IceRays’ goaltender, Cam Burggrabe, hit the ice and fired one to the far post for the equalizer.
Corpus Christi would get one more in the first period as Jayson Dimizio received an open ice pass in the slot due to defensive breakdowns and extended shifts for Odessa. Dimizio was able to find the open net for the 2-1 lead before the Jacks got on their 2nd power play of the day.
With 23 seconds remaining in the 1st period, Zach Zech found Ludwig Stenlund for a rocket from the right faceoff circle. Stenlund’s shot headed toward the net as Tyler Pietrowski tipped it past Burggrabe for the tie game at the end of the first period.
It would be all IceRays from there as Nathan Bryer netted a power play goal just under the halfway point in the 2nd period. Hogue made the initial save on Jungwirth, but a 2nd attempt on a mishit from Bryer fluttered over Hogue’s shoulder to find twine and the one goal lead.
The IceRays would net two more in the 3rd period as Cole Filler found the back of the net before Nathan Bryer netted his second of the day on another power play. Corpus Christi ended the night 2/10 on the power play, as Odessa netted one in their four chances.
Jonny Hogue saved 40 of 45 shots in net for the Jacks in the loss. Burggrabe saved 25 of Odessa’s 27 shots in the game, leading to an IceRays victory.
The Jacks are back at it again tomorrow night in Corpus Christi. 7:05 puck drop as the Jacks look for a little vengeance against the IceRays.
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— ODESSA JACKALOPES —