Odessa, TX (March 18, 2016) – The Odessa Jackalopes, members of the North American Hockey League, will be without the services of forwards Matt Rypien (six games), Connor Wood (six games), Taylor Gatto (eight games) and defenseman Cooper Zech (eight games) in the near future for their involvement in last Saturday’s line brawl against the Lone Star Brahmas at NYTEX Sports Centre. Head Coach Greg Gatto originally received a four-game ban, but the league reduced it to two games after an appeal. Gatto will return to the bench for the Jackalopes on Saturday against Topeka.
The sequence occurred at 14:59 of the third period in last Saturday night’s game in North Richland Hills between the Jackalopes and Brahmas. Four separate fights broke out resulting in 131 combined penalty minutes. The Jacks appealed all five suspensions handed down by the league and upon league review, Gatto’s was the only ban reduced.
In a corresponding move, the Jacks have added Fox Motors (T1EHL) forward’s Noah Poindexter, Brandon Krumpschmid, as well as goaltender Eric Schuch for all three weekend games against the Topeka RoadRunners at Kansas ExpoCentre on March 18-20. Krumpschmid, a Jackalopes tender, appeared in one game for Odessa earlier this year on November 27 vs. Wichita Falls, recording zero points and an even rating. In 31 games with Fox Motors, Krumpschmid, 18, had 12 goals and 11 assists.
Poindexter, 19, a Jacks affiliate had nine goals and 12 assists in 31 games with Fox Motors. Schuch, 17, also an affiliate appeared in 18 games for Fox Motors with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
Lone Star's John Zimmerman, 19, received a three-game suspension for his role in the melee. Odessa’s Rypien, 20, and Wood, 19, will be allowed to return to the Jacks lineup on April 1 when the Brahmas come to Ector County Coliseum for a two-game series. Taylor Gatto, 18, and Cooper Zech, 17, will be eligible to return on April 8 when Amarillo visits Odessa for the final two regular-season games of the year.
Former Jacks player and current Assistant Coach and Director of Youth Hockey Donnie Margettie will fill in for coach Gatto on Friday and return to his assistant role on Saturday and Sunday. Margettie was on the bench for Odessa’s 4-1 win Tuesday over the Amarillo Bulls as Gatto sat out his first game of the suspension.
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.
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.