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Bulls Bounce the Jacks to Open the Season

Amarillo, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes (0-1-0-0) fell to the Amarillo Bulls (1-0-0-0) 5-3 in the regular season opener on Saturday night. Amarilo was able to get off to an early start thanks to a loud home crowd.

Odessa received their goals from Eric Huss to open the scoring, with Zac Herrmann and Evan Rochowiak adding one a piece in the 3rd. Goaltender, Brett Epp, made 36 saves en route to the loss.

The Jackalopes experience bus problems on the way to Amarillo, resulting in a six and a half hour bus trip from Odessa, and a 45-minute delay to the start time. After spending a little too much time on a sweltering bus, the Jacks came out cold.

Amarillo got on the board first as Alex Borowiec netted one past Epp at the 3:27 mark, only to be followed by Alex Peterson three minutes later.

Odessa would retaliate as Huss received a beautiful pass from Peyton Frantti to snipe his first NAHL goal.

Amarillo would get two more in the second as Peterson netted his second of the game, followed by Michael McPherson’s first goal, bringing the Bulls to a three-goal lead after two.

The Jacks wouldn’t go down without a fight in the 3rd. Viktor Johansson’s faceoff win to Zac Herrmann was enough for Herrmann to fire one through traffic for a top-shelf goal. A few minutes later, the teams saw themselves at 4-on-4, and Evan Rochowiak saw the back of the net on a backdoor pass to bring the Jacks within 1.

Amarillo would receive a power play a few seconds later, leading to Simon Morberg’s goal with 3:30 remaining in regulation to seal the deal.

The Jackalopes ended up 0-3 on the power play, and 3-4 on the penalty kill. Amarillo’s Jason Grande fended off 28 shots for a Bulls’ victory.

The Jackalopes will head to Blaine, MN for the 2017 NAHL Showcase taking place this Wednesday-Thursday.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes single game 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.

Also, be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter and Facebook (@LetsGoJacks), Instagram (odessajackalopes), and add us on Snapchat (odessajacks) all year long.

— ODESSA JACKALOPES —

Jackalopes Name Captains for 2017-18 Season

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, have announced their leaders for the upcoming 2017-18 campaign. Rune Kirby earns the highest honor as captain, while Zac Herrmann, Noah Poindexter, and Nick Wilson all earn the honor of alternate captains.

“It’s always an honor to be named captain of any team, but this team in particular is quite exciting,” explains Kirby. “We have a locker room filled with natural leaders in their own way, and I know that they will hold me accountable just as much as I will them.”

Voted on by the players via a secret ballot, it was a nearly unanimous vote for the four peer leaders for Odessa.

“Something that neither Cody [Campbell] nor myself have seen since Chad Guderian was on the team,” begins head coach Greg Gatto, “was a unanimous vote for captain. Kirby has earned the respect of both the staff and his teammates by earning every vote. He does all the little things correct. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Kirby, 20, joined the Jackalopes in November of last season after short stints in both New Jersey and Aston. The native of Ludington, MI played is more known for his never-give-up defensive attitude, recording only one goal and two assists in 25 games for the Jacks last season.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound defenseman went to school at Culver Military Academy Prep, where it helped shape him into a leader. Rune only played in about half his possible games last season in Odessa due to injury, but he was always someone that the other players wanted to play for, and would provide a spark with his gruesome hits.

“Our alternates are just as big in the leadership role as the captain. Herrmann has really stepped up and come a long way this year to become a leader both on and off the ice,” Gatto says. “As for Poindexter and Wilson, what you see is what you get. They’re both some of the hardest working guys I’ve had play for me, and that’s what you want in your leaders. Those guys all exemplify the traits that captains are supposed to.”

A native of Lancaster, NY, Herrmann is an offensive-defenseman who can lead a rush and run a successful power play. Like Kirby, Herrmann joined the Jackalopes during the season after beginning the year with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. In 26 games last season, Herrmann netted three goals and assisted on 11 more.

Poindexter, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound centerman, never takes a shift off. A lead-by-example mentality explains why he was named an alternate by his peers. Poindexter is one of the hardest working forwards in the league, whether it’s racing into a corner for the puck, or standing in front of the net to screen a goalie.

The final alternate, Wilson, is one of the most feared players on the ice. Having not lost a fight (and even being in some with a dislocated shoulder), Nick is someone who always has his teammates back. A big defender who has speed, stick-handling, and hockey smarts, Wilson is fearless in every aspect of the game, while being soft-spoken, but respected.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes single game 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.

Also, be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter and Facebook (@LetsGoJacks), Instagram (odessajackalopes), and add us on Snapchat (odessajacks) all year long.

— ODESSA JACKALOPES —

Jackalopes Open Mini-Camp

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, will begin a week-long mini training camp on Monday, August 28th. The mini camp will help to cut the roster from 30 players to 23.

While players have already started coming in, the camp does not officially begin until next Monday, and will run through the end of the weekend. On Wednesday, August 30th at 7:00 pm, the team will host an intrasquad game as they split into two squads and take on their own teammates at the Music City Mall. The game will be coached by CBS 7 Sports Director, Jake Gadon, and Classic Rock 102 Director, Steve Driscoll.

“It’s a good chance for us to bring in some of these young guys and see what they’re made of,” said Jackalopes head coach Greg Gatto. “We have a great crop of talent coming through this year and it was tough to narrow it down at first. We’ll get to see what these guys are really made of this week and especially in Amarillo.”

The Jackalopes will travel to Amarillo to take on the Bulls in two exhibition matches, Friday, September 1st and Saturday, September 2nd. On September 7th, the team will host an exhibition game at the Music City Mall against the Lone Star Brahmas before the season officially kicks off for the Jacks.

The team will head back to Amarillo on September 16th for the season opener before heading to Blaine, MN for the league’s week-long NAHL Showcase, September 20-23. The Jacks will play the Brookings Blizzard, Kenai River Brown Bears, Janesville Jets, and Johnstown Tomahawks respectively throughout those days.

The team will host their home opening weekend on October 6th and 7th as the Shreveport Mudbugs come to town for two games.

The Jacks will embark on their 21st season in the Permian Basin and 7th as members of the North American Hockey League.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes single game 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.

Also, 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.

— ODESSA JACKALOPES —

Jackalopes Unveil 2017 Showcase Schedule

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, in association with the North American Hockey League, are happy to announce the 2017 NAHL Showcase schedule at Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN. The Jackalopes will take on inter-divisional foes, the Brookings Blizzard, Kenai River Brown Bears, Janesville Jets, and Johnstown Tomahawks.

The NAHL Showcase is an annual event to kick off the season, taking place this year on September 20-23. The showcase is a four-day tournament that gives coaches of all levels access to the players in the NAHL.

The Jackalopes have participated in 23 games at the showcase since their inaugural year of junior hockey in 2011. The team has an overall record of 10-12-1 at showcase games over that span and have a chance to even it out, if not better, this season. Last year, the Jackalopes went 2-2-0 while in Blaine, including victories over the Northeast Generals and Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

The Jacks will begin the 2017 NAHL Showcase on Wednesday, Sep. 20 at 5:30 pm with a matchup against the Brookings Blizzard. The Blizzard finished the 2016-17 campaign in 3rd place in the Central Division with a record of 30-25-4-1, but falling to the Minnesota Wilderness in the first round of the playoffs. The Jackalopes acquired Brenden Stanko from the Blizzard in July as he will have a chance to beat his former squad. The Jacks and Blizzard have faced off two times in the past six seasons (all at the showcase), splitting the games.

Day two could be a trap game for the Jackalopes early on as they face off with the Kenai River Brown Bears for the 7:15 pm nightcap on Thursday. The Bears had gone 12-46-2 last season and took last place in the Midwest Division. Kenai River has only had four winning seasons out of their 10-year tenure in the NAHL, but they have spurts of greatness, including a big sweep of a hot Fairbanks late last season. These two teams have seen each other only once before, at the 2012-13 Showcase that saw the Jacks beat the Bears in overtime, 5-4.

Friday will have the Jackalopes playing the top team in the Midwest Division from the 2016-17 season, the Janesville Jets. The Jets finished off last year in first place with a 42-13-1-5 record. Janesville made it all the way to the Robertson Cup semis before being batted down by the Lone Star Brahmas in a two-game sweep. The Jets and Jacks have faced off twice before in 2011 and 2015, with the games being split at the Showcase both seasons. Game will take place September 22 at 4:15 pm.

The final day of the Showcase has the Jackalopes taking on the Johnstown Tomahawks in a matchup that will have Evan Somoza playing against his old team on September 23 at 10 am. Johnstown had a great regular season last year, going 40-16-3-1 to hold onto second place in the East Division before being swept out of the playoffs by the New Jersey Titans. The Jacks and ‘Hawks have faced off twice before in the showcase, with Johnstown taking both games.

Following the showcase, the Jackalopes will head to Corpus Christi for a two-game set before returning home for their home opening weekend on October 6 & 7.

All showcase games, as well as all regular season and postseason games, will be broadcast on hockeytv.com, the official broadcast provider of the NAHL, and Classic Rock 102.1 FM.

In 2017-18, the Jacks will embark on their 21st season in the Permian Basin and 7th as members of the North American Hockey League.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes 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.

Also, 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.

— ODESSA JACKALOPES —

Jackalopes Acquire Stanko from Brookings

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are happy to announce they have acquired Brenden Stanko from the Brookings Blizzard for a 2018-19 tender and a conditional pick in the 2018 NAHL draft.

The 18-year-old has three more years of junior hockey eligibility, being born in 1999. He began by playing one season each for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies minor and major teams before joining Belle Tire U16 for two seasons where he was over a point per game in each of those four seasons. Last year, he joined the Brooking Blizzard while also having a brief stint with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL.

“I was very surprised when I got the call from Coach Greg Gatto,” says Stanko. “As he explained the situation, it made me excited to head south to Odessa. It’s a great feeling to be wanted by an outstanding organization.”

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed shot hails from Howell, MI. Last season in Brookings, Stanko racked up 35 points (11-24-35) in 49 games and also played a big part in their postseason run with 4 points in 5 games.

“I finally get to play somewhere that’s warm all year round,” jokes Stanko.

A hard-working player is a centerman by trade, but can also play on the left-wing as well. Being a young player will be very helpful for the Jackalopes future as they have eight returning 20-year-olds from last year’s team, as well as four more that were acquired through trades, tenders, and the draft.

“It’s great that we’re able to get young players without losing any talent,” begins head coach, Greg Gatto. “Brenden is a player that can jump into our top 6 and make an impact early and often.”

The Jackalopes will hold their main camp July 27-30 at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, IL to finalize the roster for the upcoming season.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes season tickets are on sale now with the home season beginning October 6th! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.

Also, 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.

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM ± GP G A PTS PIM ±
2012-13 Oakland Jr. Grizzlies Bantam Minor T1EMBHL 25 13 15 28 18 0
2013-14 Oakland Jr. Grizzlies Bantam Major AAA T1EBHL 28 23 16 39 30 0
2014-15 Belle Tire U16 T1EHL U16 28 13 17 30 28 0 4 1 0 1 4 0
2015-16 Belle Tire U16 T1EHL U16 29 24 17 41 6 0 4 2 3 5 4 0
2016-17 Brookings Blizzard NAHL 49 11 24 35 53 -3 5 2 2 4 0 2
Des Moines  Buccaneers USHL 4 0 0 0 2 1

Jackalopes Release 2017-18 Regular Season Schedule

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, are excited to announce the release of the 2017-18 hockey season schedule. After just missing the playoffs last season, the Jacks are back at it again for their 21st season of hockey in the Permian Basin.

With the removal of Wichita Falls, the South Division has once again gone to six total teams, consisting of the Amarillo Bulls, Corpus Christi IceRays, Lone Star Brahmas,  Shreveport Mudbugs, and Topeka Roadrunners, as well as your Jackalopes.

Odessa will open the regular season on September 16th in Amarillo before hopping on a bus and heading to Blaine, Minnesota for the NAHL showcase the 20-23. The Jackalopes home opener will take place the weekend of October 6th and 7th as they play host to the 2nd year Mudbugs who had an outstanding inaugural season last year.

The opponent breakdown for the season is as follows. The Jackalopes will take on the IceRays 12 total times, with six at home and six on the road. The Mudbugs will come to the Ector County Coliseum for six games, and the Jacks will travel to Shreveport for six as well. The Jackalopes and the Roadrunners will face off 12 total times, with all trips being 3-in-3 weekends. The I-20 rivalry will be alive and well this year as the Bulls will split 12 games with the Jacks, 6 at home and 6 on the road. The final team, Lone Star Brahmas, will only play the Jackalopes eight total times this season with four at the Ector County Coliseum, and two in North Richland Hills.

The Jackalopes will be partnering up with ECISD, Shriner’s Hospital, Rodeo, Hooters, and the Jr. Jacks for five different specialty jerseys this season, as well as the annual alumni weekend, and 2nd annual alumni game taking place the final weekend of the season, April 6th and 7th.

The Jackalopes promotional schedule will be released in the near future, so make sure you keep an eye out for that.

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.

Also, the 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes 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.

— ODESSA JACKALOPES —

Jackalopes Replace 13 With NAHL Draft

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are expecting to lose 13 players from last season’s team due to aging out and college hockey programs. On Tuesday, Odessa filled those slots by selecting 13 players during the 2016 NAHL Draft, highlighted by seven forwards, five defensemen, and one goaltender.

Evan Rochowiak – F (1st RD, 16th overall): Following a trade with the New Jersey Titans, the Odessa Jackalopes selected Rochowiak in the first round. The big-bodied forward (6-foot-2) has a great chance to jump into the team and run the power play. Rochowiak collected 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) between Drumheller and Grand Prairie in the AJHL last season while posting 46 PIMS. The ‘97 has played parts of the past two seasons for the Dragons and Storm in the AJHL, accumulating 35 points (14-21-35) in 84 games. Evan will fill the role of a grinder, by using his large frame to screen and fight goaltenders for any puck, while still having a great shot that can fool a goalie.

“Evan isn’t a big hitter, but with his frame, he’s extremely good on the half wall, and has an uncanny shot that can score.” – Head Coach, Greg Gatto.

Chays Ruddy – D (2nd RD, 31st Overall): The large body defenseman was one of the best choices in the drafts for Odessa. Ruddy (6-foot-2, 205-pounds) hails from Cobourg, Ontario, where he played parts of the last three seasons for the Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL, accumulating 22 points (2 goals, 20 assists) over 94 games played. The 20-year-old is more of a stay-at-home defenseman who will be one of the hardest to play against in the league. He also brings some championship experience from when he won the Schmalz Cup with the Port Hope Panthers during the 2014-15 campaign.

“He’s a mean, gritty defender who is more than excited to be coming down to west Texas.” – Gatto.

Hugh Anderson – D (3rd RD, 62nd Overall): The ’99 brings fantastic skating capabilities to a very solid Jackalopes defense. The two-way skating defenseman isn’t afraid to jump into the rush or stick his toes in and wait back. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman played last season for the Stratford Warriors of the GOJHL, racking up 13 points (5 goals, 8 apples) throughout 43 games. Anderson was drafted by the Green Bay Gamberls and Owen Sound Attack in their respective 2015 drafts, and the Dubuque Fighting Saints last month in the USHL Phase II Draft.

“He’s a very skilled player who’s extremely solid in his home half of the ice.” – Assistant Coach, Cody Campbell.

Matthew Brown – F (4th Rd, 85th Overall): The 1999 birth year was amazing for the different New Jersey Rockets teams over the past couple of seasons. Last season in the EHL, Brown put up 51 points (31 goals, 20 helpers) over the course of only 44 games. Brown is a pure goal scorer that will join a stacked left-side of forwards, making it one of the deadliest in the league. Brown has a commitment to play college hockey at UMass – Lowell.

“Matt has tons of skill, and is a great skater on top of it. He’s going to give the Jacks a change of pace from their hard hitters.” – Campbell.

Chad Merrell – F (5th Round, 103rd Pick): The native of Boca Raton, Florida comes to Odessa after playing one season for the Kanata Lasers of the CCHL. While in Kanata, Merrell accumulated 36 points (12 goals, 24 assists) in 61 games on top of 32 PIMS. Merrell is expected to jump right in and be a top 6 forward for Odessa.

“He’s a very skilled, left-handed forward that has above skating, but it all comes very natural to him.” – Gatto.

Lucas Herrmann – F (5th Round, 115th Pick): The younger brother of current Jackalopes defenseman, Zac Herrmann, Lucas brings a different style of play. He’s a big, young, exciting forward that can use his size real well. The Niagara commit played the last two years for Nichols School in the CISAA, accumulating 16 points in 23 games. Lucas has a commitment to play college hockey at Niagara University.

“He came down and skated with us towards the end of last season. He’s very savvy in the offensive zone, while still being able to play with a little bit of an edge.” – Gatto.

Brendan Schultz – F (6th Round, 121st Pick): The 1998 birth year is a very good skater who plays with an edge at all times. The native of Schaumburg, Illinois, Schultz compiled 33 points (18 goals and 15 assists) in 49 games for the Soo Eagles last season in the NOJHL.

“Brendan is a really good north-to-south skater who has a knack around the net to get the point.” – Campbell.

Grant Bondy – D (6th Round, 125th Pick): Filling out the defense will be right-handed shot, Grant Bondy. Originally from Newport, Michigan, Bondy played the last two seasons for the Compuware U18 team. Not much of a scorer (only 6 points in the past two seasons), Bondy plays more of a skilly game. He’s a great skating defenseman who can jump into the rush, and move the puck real well.

“He came to our Michigan camp and really impressed. We’re lucky we got him where we did.” – Gatto.

Max Decoursey – G (7th Round, 148th Pick): After a season of 20-year-old goaltenders, the Jacks have gone young with Decoursey. The ’99 birth year has good size at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, and plays even bigger. His stats over the past four season have done nothing but decrease, capped off by a .945 save percentage and 1.35 goals against average last season.

“Max is a very good player who stay extremely calm at all times. He has a very good chance at being a Division 1 player in the future.” – Campbell.

Aiden Boehm – F (8th Round, 171st Pick): Not on the draft radar until he was coached by Gatto in the New England Pro Am Pre Draft Showcase, Boehm really impressed by leading the team in scoring. Boehm played for the Long Island Royals near his hometown of Nesconset, NY, where he lit up the league. Boehm scored 32 goals and added 41 assists en route to a 73-point season in only 31 games. The big-framed power forward goes to the net hard and plays with an edge at all times. He has very untapped potential.

“I saw him when I coached the showcase in Boston earlier this year. He’s an in your face hockey player that gives a knock to the opponent each shift out.” – Gatto.

Dylan Johnson – F (9th Round, 194th Pick): Johnson if a very good offensive player who scored a ton while playing at Cloquet High School in the USHS. Johnson has scored 129 points (67 goals and 62 assists) over the past four seasons at Cloquet HS. Described as a 200-ft player, Johnson has great speed and avoidenace that he can bring to a division that’s more hard-hitting.

“He’s a guy that can bring a little bit of skill in every aspect of the game.” – Campbell.

Steve Holtz – D (10th Round, 217th Pick): A really good skater from Detroit, Michigan, Holtz is going to be a wildcard this upcoming season. He has really good size and can break the puck out well, but he has been invited to the Youngstown camp in the USHL. The ’99 birth year netted only three goals, but assisted on 11 more last season for the Compuware 18U team.

“Steve is definitely a division 1 prospect who would fit well if we got him.” – Campbell.

Matt Stoia – D (11th Round, 240th Pick): Needing a little more size on the back end Odessa picked up another right-handed defenseman who could join Wilson and Ruddy to make it one of the fiercest in the south. Stoia is a big kid who has signed a deal in the Ontario Hockey league. He has played in four games over the past two seasons for the Oshawa Generals, but thrived last season for Little Caesars 18U, scoring 11 points in 20 games. The last Jacks player to make it onto the Generals roster was Jalen Smereck, who signed a contract with the Arizona Coyotes this past season.

“If we ended up getting him, he’d be a very offensive defenseman. He’s a really good skater for his size that sees the ice extremely well.” – Campbell.

The Jacks 2017-18 opening day roster will be finalized following the conclusion of the club’s main camp in Chicago from on July 27-29.

In 2017-18, the Jacks will embark on their 21st season in the Permian Basin and 7th as members of the North American Hockey League.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes 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.

Also, 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.

— ODESSA JACKALOPES —

Jackalopes Extend Contract With County

ODESSA, TX– The Odessa Jackalopes hockey team is proud to announce they have picked up the option to extend their contract with the Ector County Coliseum for another five years. A unanimous vote in 2011 set this contract in place, and with the blessing of the Ector County Commissioners and the Coliseum Director, Aaron Martin, the Jackalopes are able to continue operations through at least the 2021-22 season.

The Jackalopes, members of the North American Hockey League, are ready to embark on their 21st season on the ice and are the anchor tenant of the coliseum.

“We are excited to be able to call Ector County Coliseum home for the future,” Team President Kevin Leisgang said. “First off, we would like to thank Ector County Commissioners and Coliseum Director, Aaron Martin, for their blessing to continue to operate at Ector County Coliseum. We look forward to continuing our efforts to help improve Ector County Coliseum not only for hockey games, but for every event that comes to Odessa. We look to continue to offer the community affordable family fun and continue to build youth hockey in West Texas.”

The Jackalopes have called the Ector County Coliseum their home since their inaugural season, 1997. The relationship, initially constructed with the help of former Coliseum Director, Don Thorn, has continued to thrive throughout the years under Martin.

“We’re excited that we’ve been able to play a part in keeping hockey in Odessa,” explains Martin. “Jackalopes games are a great family fun night out in town, I look forward to the coming years”

The Odessa Jackalopes remain one of the oldest hockey franchises in Texas to operate under the same name and building for its entire existents.

“That is something very special,” Leisgang says “To think, we have had the support of the city, county, endless sponsors and countless fans supporting hockey in Odessa is nothing short of amazing. We can’t thank the commissioners court, Aaron Martin, Don Thorn, the two previous ownership groups, and the community enough for the support they have given us from the start.”

The Odessa Jackalopes are pulling out all the stops to help improve the fan experience during games. The Jackalopes are putting in a brand new, larger, video board inside Ector County Coliseum and are updating the coliseum’s marquee on the corner of 42nd and Andrews Highway.

Jackalopes will embark on their 21st season in September.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes 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.

— ODESSA JACKALOPES —

Jackalopes Acquire Somoza from Johnstown

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are happy to announce they have acquired Evan Somoza from the Johnstown Tomahawks for a 2018-19 tender.

The 19-year-old began playing for the California Titans on both their 16U and 18U teams before joining the NAHL. He played for the 2015-16 Robertson Cup Champion, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, before moving on to the Northeast Generals for their inaugural season, and then being traded halfway through last season to the Tomahawks for their playoff push.

“I have enjoyed every team I have played for in the NAHL, they have all challenged me differently and shaped the player and person I am today,” Somoza says. I am very excited to play under head coach [Greg] Gatto. I am confident I will learn a lot from him and my goal is to exceed expectations which has been well communicated.”

The 6-foot-0, 170-pound forward from Simi Valley, CA has averaged just below a point every other game (22-28-50) throughout 104 games in the NAHL.

“Evan is a 20-year-old with both size and speed,” said Gatto. “He’s a player that can play some top 6 minutes as a forward for us next year.”

Offense and speed has always been something Somoza has prided himself on, but this offseason, Evan has been working more on what he can bring defensively. Somoza will need to use his big body to his advantage in a much more physical south division.

“I like when opponents are physical as they tend to over-pursue me and it allows me to find the inside with my speed,” states Somoza. “I am working on my defensive game a lot in the off-season putting some pounds on to be more physical off the puck. I already have good size and speed so with a few more pounds I will be able to win more battles.”

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM ± GP G A PTS PIM ±
2012-13 California Titans 16U NAPHL 16U 16 3 5 8 0 0 4 1 0 1 4 0
2013-14 California Titans 16U NAPHL 16U 20 16 15 31 28 0 5 5 3 8 16 0
2014-15 California Titans 18U NAPHL 18U 24 9 15 24 40 0
Fairbanks Ice Dogs NAHL 1 0 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Fairbanks Ice Dogs NAHL 46 7 15 22 30 11 6 1 0 1 2 1
2016-17 Northeast Generals NAHL 36 9 6 15 46 -19
Johnstown Tomahawks NAHL 21 6 7 13 32 7

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes 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.

Savidant Signs Commitment to UW-River Falls

Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are proud to announce that defenseman, Rowan Savidant, has committed to playing college hockey for the University of Wisconsin – River Falls Falcons, beginning in the 2017-2018 season. UW-River Falls is a Division III hockey program, and members of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“River Falls is a great fit for me both as a hockey player and a student,” Savidant said. “I get to be a part of a winning hockey tradition, as well as earning a great degree. I believe River Falls has all the tools to help me achieve my goal of playing professional hockey.”

Savidant, 20, played his first three seasons of junior hockey in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), splitting time between the Carleton Place Canadians, Kanata Lasers, and Nepean Riders. Rowan found himself in Odessa for the duration of the entire 2016-17 season, accumulating nine points (4-5-9) in 54 games.

The 6-foot, 195-pound defenseman wasn’t limited to just playing the blue line throughout the course of the season. Savidant played a handful of games up front on days where head coach, Greg Gatto, needed a little more physicality. Rowan tried to compare his game to Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals, where he would play as physical as possible to help set the tone of the game. Savidant “do what it takes” attitude stretched beyond what he showed on the ice.

“Rowan was a leader in the locker room,” states Gatto. “He was a loud presence no matter where he was. A very reliable player that you can throw into any role you may need. You can’t teach that kind of versatility”.

UW-River Falls finished the season ranked 3rd of 5 teams in the WIAC, falling to UW-Eau Claire in two games in the WIAC tournament.

The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes 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.