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Preview: Jacks vs. Rays (FEB. 26)

Jacks (19-21-4) vs. Rays (19-22-5)

vs. COR

Head-To-Head: 2-2-2

In Corpus: 0-1-1

Overtime: 0-2-0

Shootout Games: 1-0-0

Tonight’s Matchup: The Odessa Jackalopes travel to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to face the Corpus Christi IceRays at AmericanBank Center for the second time this season. The weekend series kicks off a road and home four game battle between the clubs with major playoff implications looming. Odessa has lost four straight to the Rays after beginning the season 2-0. Four of the six games between the teams this season have been decided by just one goal and three of the six have gone to OT or a shootout. The Jacks last win in Corpus came on Friday, January 17, 2014 (5-2). Odessa is 16-28-6 all-time against the Rays.

Jacks Last Time Out: The Odessa Jackalopes used Matthew Rypien’s first goal in his last 16 games plus a pair from Hampus Sjodahl and goals by Pierce Pluemer and Ryan MacKellar to beat the Lone Star Brahmas 5-2 last Saturday night at NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills, TX. Jon Flakne earned his fourth win stopping 32 of 34 shots faced to knock off the Brahmas at home for the first time since October 26, 2013.

Rays Last Time Out: The IceRays are coming off a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Amarillo Bulls last Saturday at the ACC. Mason Krueger, Carter Johnson and Nathan Bryer all scored in the opening frame but the Bulls responded with four unanswered goals to pull off the upset. Dryden McKay earned the Friday night victory but was charged with the loss Saturday making 36 saves on 40 shots.

Dazzling Derek: Jacks forward Derek Brown’s 12-game point streak is the second longest in the NAHL this season only behind Fairbanks Ryner Gorowsky, who had a 13-game point streak earlier in the year. During the 12 games, Brown has 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists) and an even rating. The Niagara committed winger (Atlantic, D1) has the 16th most points in the league with 41 (8 goals, 33 assists) in 44 games played.

Sjodahl Stoppa’: Hampus Sjodahl potted a pair of goals last Saturday and now has a six-game point streak. The Bemidji State committed centerman is tied for the second-most goals in the league (25) and is fourth in points with 49 (25 goals, 24 assists) and a plus-13 rating in 44 games played. In his last six games, Sjodahl has six goals and four assists and a plus-one rating.

Piercing Hot: Pierce Pluemer netted his third goal of the season last Saturday and his third in his last three games. The Air Force commit now has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in 20 games with a minus-four rating.

Rypien Revival: Jacks center Matt Rypien snapped a 16 game goalless drought last Saturday and now has nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 43 games this season and a minus-16 rating.

Dirty South: All six South Division clubs are in action this weekend as Amarillo battles Wichita Falls at Kay Yeager Coliseum and Topeka and Lone Star duel at NYTEX Sports Centre. The Brahmas are five points out of the top spot in the South with 12 games to go while the Jacks are just one points behind the Corpus Christi IceRays for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Power Surge: IceRays forward Brad Power has been held off the scoresheet in his last three games, but Canadian has scored half of his eight goals this season against Odessa including goals in his last three contests against the Jacks. Power has 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) and a minus-five rating in 40 games played for the Rays. He has four goals and one assist against Odessa in six games.

Red-Hot Redhawk: Newly committed Miami of Ohio forward Carter Johnson has four goals and an assist in his last five games. The 6-3, 207-pound power forward is tied for first on the team in points (32), first in goals (14) and is second on the club in assists (18). Johnson has two goals, two assists and a plus-two rating in six games versus Odessa this season.

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