‘Cats Crushed, Jacks Skate Off with 6-1 Win



Mar. 16, 2012



Win coupled with Corpus loss leaves Odessa two points from playoffs.


ODESSA, TX– With the South Division’s final playoff spot on the line, the Odessa Jackalopes have turned in a stretch of hockey the past three weeks that can only be described as incredible and it all culminated in a dominant, 6-1 defeat of the Wichita Falls Wildcats Friday at Ector County Coliseum. With the victory, paired with Corpus Christi’s Friday defeat in Amarillo, the Jackalopes drew to within two points of a postseason berth and at 24-25-5, the Jacks extended their season-long, five-game winning streak and have now won seven of their past eight games.

After taking a pair of minor penalties in the first three-plus minutes of the game, Odessa centerman Taylor Portner started the scoring at 6:28 of the first period, swatting home a power-play feed from Tyler Cayemberg and Josh Obregon to stake the Jacks to a 1-0 lead. After Patrick Yudez tied it for Wichita Falls less than a minute later, the Jacks rattled off a pair of unanswered goals the rest of the way in the second, as Alex Ostrowski stuffed home his third goal in four games at 12:02 and Taylor Portner netted his second of the night just 40 seconds later.

The Jackalopes entered the second period up 3-1 and after a well-played but mostly scoreless middle frame, Tyller Robert swept a feed from the high slot to Tyler Minx at the left point of the Wildcats’ zone and Minx did the rest, hammering a slapper past Wichita Falls netminder Matt Leon high to the glove side for Minx’s fourth tally of the season.

Up 4-1 to start the final frame, the Jacks’ attack kept at it, adding scores from Josh Obregon at 4:46 and Ryan Doucet with just over a minute left in regulation to emerge victorious by a 6-1 final score. With three points (1G, 2A) in the game, Obregon extended his season-long point-streak to seven games and Minx, Portner, Cayemberg, Robert and Lawrence Cornellier all tallied multiple points for Odessa.

Not to be outdone by his suddenly-prodigious offense, Jacks goaltender Connor Hellebuyck turned in another masterful performance, turning aside numerous Wichita Falls chances down the stretch en route to a 31 save performance and his 23rd win of the season. Friday marked the third consecutive game that the Jackalopes chased their opposing goaltender, as after JoJo Jeannetta gave up three goals on thirteen shots in the first period, Leon took over in relief.

The Jacks ended up a perfect two-for-two on the penalty kill and scored a pair of power-play goals on four chances, tying a single-game season high. With Friday’s win, the Jackalopes improved to 4-0-1 against Wichita Falls this season and will face the Wildcats in three of the Odessa’s six remaining regular-season games.

Next up for the Jacks it’s a Saturday rematch against Wichita Falls with the opening faceoff set for 7:05 pm at Ector County Coliseum in the Jacks’ final home game of their 15th anniversary season and inaugural campaign as a member of the NAHL.

The Odessa Jackalopes celebrate their 15th Anniversary in 2011-12 and drop the puck on their inaugural campaign as a member of the North American Hockey League.  Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or by visiting the Jacks online at www.jackalopes.org.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.