Topeka, KS (March 18, 2016) – The Odessa Jackalopes (22-16-4) scored their most goals in a game since October but the Topeka RoadRunners (30-20-1) proved too tough beating the Jacks 7-6 Friday night at Kansas ExpoCentre. In the defeat, Hampus Sjodahl recorded his sixth multi-goal game of the year.
In the first, Sjodahl (31) picked up a Derek Brown shot in the crease and jammed it home at 2:43 to give Odessa an early lead. The RoadRunners’ Marcus Russell (16) then tied the game after Quinn Preston’s dump hit off a stanchion and deflected to Russell who shot it into an open net after Dean Shatzer was caught out of play at 10:50. The RoadRunners took its first lead moments later on the power play when Cam Strong set up Luka Maver (9) who one-timed a shot past Shatzer from below the near hash at 13:57.
Russell (17) extended the Runner’ lead with his second of the game at 3:50 of the 2nd on a perfect top shelf snipe. Zach Zech (16) snapped an 11 game goalless drought and got the Jacks back within one on a break away. Derek Brown (11) then tied it for the Jacks at 11:34 and Gray Marr (14) gave Odessa the lead at 11:58. The RoadRunners responded with three unanswered goals themselves. First, JB Baker (12) beat shatzer five-hole on an odd man rush at 14:58. John O’Connor (6) then sniped a slap shot from the point at 15:27 and Maver (10) tacked on his second of the game at 17:18. Down by two, Sjodahl (32) got the Jacks within one on the power play at 18:53.
In the final 20 minutes, the Jacks made a goaltender change pulling Dean Shatzer and bringing in Eric Schuch. Schuch was sharp stopping 9-of-10 shots he faced but his lone blemish came off the hands of Baker who potted his second of the game 7:44. Brennen Miller sniped his sixth of the year right of the draw at 10:00 mark but the Jacks comeback bid came up short, falling 7-6.
Schuch took the hard-luck loss (0-1-0) while Juho Niku (10-5-1) earned the win stopping 23 saves.
The Odessa Jackalopes are in their fifth season in the North American Hockey League in 2015-16 and 19th in the Permian Basin. Single game tickets are on sale now for April 1,2,8,9. To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.
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— ODESSA JACKALOPES —