The Jackalopes traveled to Wichita Falls to take on the Wildcats under new leadership, Josh Nelson. The Jackalopes were 0-1 with Nelson at the head and 1-0 against Curtale on the season.
The first period went to the Jackalopes. The team played very well despite allowing two power plays. The Jacks actually ended up a perfect five-for-five on the penalty kill in tonight’s matchup.
Zach Zech got on the board first for the Jackalopes on a backside pass from Chase Thudium and Nick Klishko. With the Jackalopes averaging about 1.6 goals per game over the last 10 games, it looked promising to hopefully go above the average. Unfortunately, Wichita Falls’ Ilya Skvortsov received a backdoor pass from Matt Hanewall to score and tie the game at 1-1.
In the second period, tied one-to-one, the Jacks went on their first power play of the day. After the Wildcats’ player left a stick on the ice, Aleksi Poikola found his way into the neutral zone by himself, and a perfect pass from goaltender Jared Dempsey allowed Poikola to have a breakaway chance. The alternate captain wasn’t going to miss when he had a one-on-one chance against the goaltender, as he beat Jonny Hogue for the easy, short-handed goal.
Coach Gatto had some words for his team between the periods, and they came out firing on all cylinders. Only 45 seconds into the period, Connor Wood passed through a defender’s legs to Zach Heintz, who back-passed to Chris Donaldson, able to beat Dempsey in the slot to tie the game at 2-2. Once again, you have to hope that this can spark a flame under your team. Wichita Falls put the flame out as they scored the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal only 19 seconds later. Two minutes later, Wichita Falls added on some insurance as they took the game by a score of 4-2.
Jackalopes goaltender, Jonny Hogue, saved 31 of the 35 shots he faced. Hogue played a fantastic periods one and two, but a momentary lapse was what allowed Wichita Falls to net two goals in the third. Wildcats netminder, Jared Dempsey, saved 38 of the Jackalopes 40 shots they took en route to a win.
The Wildcats increased their lead over the Shreveport Mudbugs to three points for second place in the very tough South Division. The Jackalopes look to rebound Saturday night against the Wildcats, looking to even the season series at two games a-piece.
Tickets can still be bought at the Jackalopes office, or by calling 432-552-PUCK(7825). 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.
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