NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — One goal for, two goals against on special teams. That was the difference on Monday as the Odessa Jackalopes (8-17-2-2) fell 5-4 to the New Mexico Ice Wolves (9-19-1-1) in the latter’s second straight victory over Odessa.
After the Ice Wolves picked up the first goal on a breakaway in the mid-stages of the first, the Jackalopes penalty kill stood strong, and skated off just their second five-on-three disadvantage of the season. It was after that the the Jackalopes went to work. A shot from the right point by newcomer Nick Boak was deflected in front by Charles Tardif to tie the game 1-1 in the late stages of the first period. It was a noticeable goal as it was scored by two players who the Jackalopes acquired at the trade deadline.
In the second period, the Jackalopes stormed ahead on a net-mouth scramble as Joey Musa put home the rebound in front. Odessa was backstopped by Connor Hasley who was peppered with shots throughout the second period but made several spectacular saves. He could not stop a deflection from his own teammate however as a New Mexico point shot ricocheted off a Jackalopes stick and into the net to tie the game 2-2.
In the third period, the Jackalopes had several opportunities in the early going but could not cash in. Instead it was New Mexico on a short-handed breakaway to put them up 3-2. The Jackalopes responded with Fletcher Anderson making a great individual effort at the left half-wall. Anderson, who recently returned to the Jackalopes from injury, made an Ice Wolf miss his check and skated to open ice in the slot. As Anderson skated to his right, he shot the puck left and easily beat goaltender Owen Parker to tie the game up 3-3.
It seemed like the contest was starting to favor the Jackalopes, but the Ice Wolves stuck back quickly. Two goals in less than a minute, including one on the power play, sealed the Jackalopes’ fate late in the third period. Odessa got one back on Ben Doherty’s power play tally at the 19 minute mark of the third, but it was too little, too late.
The Jackalopes fell 5-4 in regulation to the Ice Wolves. Shots on goal were 35-20 in favor of New Mexico and the Jackalopes were outscored on special teams 2-1. But the play of the additions, both new and returning, were encouraging. Anderson finished with a goal and an assist, Tardif also finished with a two point night and was a plus one, and forward Joe Schubert showed promise as he was very active in the offense despite only having one shot on net.
The Jackalopes will look for the series split with the Ice Wolves on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.
Photo Credit: Danne´ Braden Photography