Game Preview: Jacks vs. Cats (Oct. 28)

Odessa vs. Wichita Falls

Ector County Coliseum – Odessa, TX

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ODA: 10-7-1 WFS: 19-3-2

Tonight’s Matchup: The Odessa Jackalopes earned their first point of the season against Wichita Falls on Friday when they forced a shootout against the Cats. On Saturday, Odessa will look to capture both points in game two of the weekend series. The Jacks are 0-1-1 versus the Wichita Falls at home this year and 5-9-5 all-time. Including Saturday, the Jackalopes and Wildcats will play their remaining four regular-season games all in Odessa.

About Last Game: Jacks goaltender Dean Shatzer turned in another tremendous outing, but the Wichita Falls Wildcats proved too lethal in the shootout, beating Odessa, 2-1, Friday night at Ector County Coliseum. Friday’s game was no doubt the Jacks best performance against the Cats this season, earning its first point in six tries. In the shootout loss, Shatzer (4-5-0-2) made 34 saves on 35 shots. After a scoreless opening frame that saw each team go 0-1 on the power play, Wichita Falls struck first in the second period, when Austin Albrecht beat Shatzer at 7:13 on a snapshot from the high slot. The Cats had a chance to add on to its lead but failed to so during the only power play of the period. In the third, Odessa used a triple redirect by Gray Marr (5) at 12:24, forcing overtime. After both teams traded chances in overtime but couldn’t break through, the two teams went to a shootout. In the shootout, Adam Goodsir became the hero, beating Shatzer far-side top shelf. Justin Kapelmaster earned the win (13-1-1) making 34 saves on 35 shots.

Big Green’ Dean: Jacks goaltender and Dartmouth College Big Green (NCAA D1) commit, Dean Shatzer, 19, has been simply sensational between the pipes for Odessa in his last two games. Shatzer has stopped 77 of 79 shots he has faced. Although he took a hard-luck shootout loss Friday, Shatzer made 34 saves on 35 shots; he is now 4-5-0-2 on the season with a 2.90 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Extraordinary Teams: The Jacks penalty kill unit held the Wichita Falls Wildcats power play in check Friday night, denying the second best power play (24.73) in the league scoreless (0-2). The Jacks have been opportunistic thus far when they’ve been down a man, scoring four shorthanded goals this season (t-3rd).

All Day Gray: Jacks forward Gray Marr, 20, collected his fifth goal of the season Friday on a redirection, forcing overtime. Marr has found his scoring touch as of late; in his last five games Marr has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) with a +3 rating. In 2015, Marr is second on the team in points (5 goals, 12 assists) with a +3 rating.

Stop, Ham-pus Time: Jacks forward Hampus Sjodahl, 20, picked up his team-leading 18th point of the year Friday. The Stockholm, Sweeden native is also first in goals (10) and is has a +10 rating in 19 games this year. Last week, Sjodahl was named the South Division 2nd Star of the Week and has also been named an Honorable Mention twice this season. In 55 games last year, with Odessa he had 34 points (19 goals, 15 assists).

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner: Former Jacks Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, 22, earned a 3-1 win for the Winnipeg Jets in his NHL debut, Friday night, at Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Hellebuyck made 14 saves on 15 shots to move to 1-0-0 in the NHL. The Jets travel to Colorado to face the Avalanche Saturday; it has yet to be determined if Hellebuyck will get back-to-back starts. Hellebuyck backstopped Odessa to its lone postseason appearance in 2012, going 26-21-8 on the year, earning Rookie of the Year Honors.

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