ODESSA, TX— Sixteen seconds was all it took for the Jackalopes to get the home crowd into the game. A crowd that had not seen their team in over a month since the season started just needed sixteen seconds to get on their feet and cheer.
Sixteen seconds in Carl Skarstrom, after having his centering pass deflected off a leg, took the rebound and shot it passed Shreveport net minder Leo Chuard. Skarstrom’s tally was the first of the game and the third of his season as the Jackalopes defeated the Mudbugs 2-1.
Backstopped by several big saves by newly acquired goaltender Kade Phipps the Jacks took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
Less than a minute into the second period, Shreveport tied the score after an Ethan Harrison break-away goal.
The Jackalopes soon responded with Eric Huss taking a short angle shot that was saved, but corralling the rebound Huss sent it behind the net to Jared Christy. Christy saw that Chuard overplayed the initial shot and put a quick pass on the stick of Zach Heintz. Heintz tapped the puck home into a wide-open net to regain the lead for Odessa.
Heintz, who suffered a scoring drought of 9 games, came alive on Friday. Not only did he net his second goal in as many games, but he was active in the play all night and nearly had two goals on self-made short-handed opportunities.
Heintz’s goal ended up being the deciding goal as Phipps shut the door the rest of the way. Phipps, the native of Perrysburg, Ohio, made 28 saves on the evening. Most impressive is the fact that Phipps started without even skating with the team as he arrived in Odessa at 1:00 pm on Friday afternoon and missed the morning skate.
With the win, the Jackalopes improve to 4-7-1 on the year while Shreveport falls to 7-6-0.
The two teams will play again at the Ector County Coliseum on Saturday night to close out the two-game series. Puck-drop is set for 7:11 pm. Fans who cannot make it to the game can listen on Classic Rock 102 fm or watch online on HockeyTV.com
— Photo Credit: Evan Kyle Allen