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Preview: Jacks vs. Brahmas (FEB. 19)

Jacks (18-20-4) vs. Brahmas (29-10-7)

Friday, February 19, 2016 – 7:05 PM

NYTEX Sports Centre – North Richland Hills, TX

All-Time vs. LSB: 5-16-3

@LSB; 4-6-2

@ODA: 1-10-1

Tonight’s Matchup: The Jacks travel back out to NYTEX Sports Centre for the first time since mid-January as they face the Brahmas. Odessa is coming off a 5-2 win over Amarillo while the Brahmas are winners of two straight after taking 2-of-3 from Corpus Christi. Odessa is 0-2 against Lone Star in North Richlands this season and 2-4-0 through six games.

Last Time Out: The Odessa Jackalopes used four unanswered goals in the third to beat the Amarillo Bulls, 5-2, Saturday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. Pierce Pluemer scored his first two as a Jack and Nate Werhane got the game winner. The Bulls and Jacks skated out to tight-checking scoreless opening frame despite Odessa outshooting the Bulls 15-to-12 and having two power plays. In the second, Amarillo struck first when Jeff Solow ripped home his first of the season on the power play at 6:33. The Jacks countered and were able to tie the game after Connor Wood won an offensive zone draw, and Danny Kiraly deflected a shot off Pluemer (1) at 14:12 to make it 1-1. The Bulls regained a one-goal lead with less than a minute left in the second period when Joey Molinaro (15) snuck a shot through the five-hole of Dean Shatzer at 19:02 after a Jacks defensive zone turnover. In the third, Odessa took 7 minutes, 34 seconds to find the equalizer off the stick of Pluemer (2) at 7:34. Werhane (3) then deflected a shot off Bull’ Liam Ferguson past Anton Martinsson to give Odessa its first lead of the game at 9:38. Odessa added onto its lead when Danny Kiraly set up his fellow Arizonian Derek Brown (8) to make it 4-2. Jon Russell (3) snapped his 16-game goalless drought at 15:11 to cap the Jacks four-goal third and secure a 5-2 victory. Shatzer (8-11-3) made 31 saves on 33 shots to earn his fifth win against Amarillo while Martinsson (9-25-4) took the loss allowing five goals on 37 shots.

Top Of Their Class: The Jacks were well represented at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, MI on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Drew McLean, Hampus Siodahl, and Gray Marr played vital roles in both of Team South’s wins. Marr and Sjodahl tacked on a pair of assists in Team South’s 5-1 win over Team Midwest Tuesday morning.

Nate The Great: Jacks defenseman Nate Werhane, 20, has goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Werhane, who has been in and out of the lineup this season as the sixth d-man, has three goals and three assists in 26 game played with a +3 rating for Odessa.

What Can Brown Do For You?: Jacks forward Derek Brown, 19, is on a 10-game points streak (4 goals, 10 assists) and now has 39 (8 goals, 31 assists) points on the season through 42 games with a +3 rating. The Niagara committed winger has points in 15 of his last 16-games (4 goals, 16 assists). In 59 games last season, Brown had 21 goals and 29 assists, his second year with the Jacks.

Falcon Finish: Air Force committed winger Pierce Pluemer, 20, potted his first two goals as a Jack last Saturday at Amarillo. The Wisconian has 2 goals, 3 assists, and a minus-five rating in 18 games since joining Odessa from the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) where he had one goal, five assists and a plus-one rating in 20 games.

Berardinelli For Three: Brahmas forward Alex Berardinelli, 20, showed off to over 200 scouts at the Top Prospects Tournament what the South has seen all season long, and that’s the ability to score. The Pittsburg, PA native had a goal in the shootout on Monday against Team East and then scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over Team Midwest Tuesday. Berardinelli has 23 goals for the Bahamas this season and sixteen assists, with a plus-14 rating in 46 games.

Wood Pile: Due to league rules, Odessa center Connor Wood, 19, will be suspended for Friday’s game against Lone Star after taking his third stand-alone misconduct of the season last Saturday at Amarillo. Wood took his previous two misconduct penalties as a member of the Aston Rebels. Wood has six points in five games with the Jacks (0 goals, 6 assists) and a plus-four rating. The Alabama-Huntsville committed forward has a combined 174 penalty minutes between Odessa and Aston which is good for the second most in the league only behind Logan Hudson (190) of Johnstown.

Brahma’ set to become a Bulldog: Lone Star goaltender Corbin Kaczperski, 19, has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Yale University and will begin his collegiate career next fall. Kaczperski is 17-6-2 with Lone Star.  He has two shutouts and a 2.17 goals-against average, which ranks eighth in the NAHL. Last time the Jacks and Brahmas faced one another back on January 30, the China Township, MI native allowed four goals on 15 shots in a 4-1 loss at Ector County Coliseum. Kaczperski is 3-1-0 in four games against the Jacks with a 2.18 goals-against average and .869 save percentage.

Dirty South: With just 18 regular season games remaining for Odessa, points and playoff position continue to tighten. The first place Wichita Falls Wildcats and Topeka RoadRunners are off this weekend while the Corpus Christi IceRays, who sit one point ahead of the Jacks in the South standings, travel to the Amarillo Civic Center for a pair of games against the Bulls.

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