ODESSA, TX — Just like last night, Jack Conroy had two goals. He scored a power play goal in the first period, and he helped spur the Jackalopes to a much needed victory. Odessa(20-29-1-1) defeated the Shreveport Mudbugs (24-20-3-5) 4-1 at the Ector County Coliseum on Saturday night.
Despite falling own 1-0 less then two minutes into the game the Jackalopes maintained their composure and fought on. After failing to score on their first power play, Conroy capitalized on the Jackalopes second man-advantage opportunity.
After passing the puck to defenseman Kellen Tharaldson Conroy broke hard for the net. After delaying on the shot, Tharaldson sent a pass over to the far post and Conroy’s stick. Conroy deflected the pass up and over the pad of Shreveport netminder Maiszon Balboa to tie the game 1-1.
In the late stages of the game, the Bugs pressed hard on the power play. But several acrobatic saves by Alex Camarre kept Shreveport at bay.
There was no scoring in the second period, despite both teams having several good scoring chances and odd-man rushes. Again Camarre was brilliant, continuing his solid performance from Friday night.
It was a minute into the third period that the Jackalopes finally broke through. After killing off the remnants of a too-many-men penalty assessed in the second period, the Jacks went on the attack. Conroy found the puck in the slot area and managed to work himself free from the defender that challenged him for the loose puck. Conroy was able to get a shot off that beat Balboa clean. The Chicago native’s seventh goal and 15th point gave the Jackalopes their first lead of the game.
Shreveport pressed hard in the late stages of the game, and had several power plays to try to even the score, but in the end they were unsuccessful. Three separate times the Mudbugs pulled their goaltender and twice the Jacks made them pay for it.
Vaclav Zidek scored an empty netter after a forced a turnover the Odessa blue line and streaked in with a breakaway. Zidek deposited the puck into the empty net from about six feet out to notch his 11th goal of the year.
Not long after that, Connor Fedorek would add an empty-net goal after he got the puck in his won zone and lobbed it all the way down the ice and into the cage. Fedorek’s goal marked his seventh of the season.
With the win Odessa moves one point closer to a playoff berth with Corpus Christi suffering an overtime loss in Topeka. The Jackalopes sit 10 points behind the IceRays (or five games) for the final playoff spot in the South Division with only nine games remaining on the schedule.