Game Preview: Jacks vs. Rays (Dec. 3)

Odessa Jackalopes (10-9-2) vs. Corpus Christi IceRays (7-12-3)

December 3, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.

Ector County Coliseum – Odessa, TX

Tonight’s Matchup: The Odessa Jackalopes and Corpus Christi IceRays drop the puck in game two of their weekend series Friday night. After falling in game one Thursday, Odessa looks for the split with a win on Friday. The Jacks are 2-1-0 against Corpus this season. The two teams will play eight more times after Friday night. Odessa currently sits five points ahead of the fifth place Rays with a game in hand in the South Division.

About Last Night: The Odessa Jackalopes scored twice in the first but never found their offense after the opening framing, falling to the Corpus Christi IceRays, 3-2, Thursday night at Ector County Coliseum. Odessa (10-9-2) broke through first when Jon Russell snuck a shot past a sprawled out Dryden McKay at 6:46 of the opening period. Corpus Christi (7-12-3) responded with back-to-back goals from Mason Krueger (3) at 10:43 and Nathan Bryer (2) at 13:20. Hampus Sjodahl (11) tied the game at 15:42 with a top-shelf short side snipe. In the second, Colton Meekhof (2) scored the lone goal of the period when he snuck a long-distance wrist shot past Dean Shatzer from just inside the blue line at 2:24 to give Corpus a 3-2 lead. In the final frame, Odessa desperately tried to tie the game with a 6-on-4 with 1:09 remaining but weren’t able to find the equalizer, falling 3-2. Dean Shatzer (4-6-2) took the hard-luck loss; making 26 saves on 29 shots. On the other end, Dryden McKay (4-6-1) stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced.

All-Day Gray: Jacks winger Gray Marr, 20, has 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in his last 11 games, including a goal in each game versus Wichita Falls last weekend. Marr collected an assist Friday to extend his point streak to a NAHL-leading eight-games. Marr is second on the Jacks in points, 19 (6 goals, 13 points), and is third in goals. With the Humboldt Broncos (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) in 2014-15, Marr appeared in 52 games, collecting 42 points (10 goals, 32 assist).

New Addition: Jacks new addition, forward Jon Russell, 17, scored his first goal as an Odessa Jackalope in his second game on Thursday. Russell now has two points in two games with a +1 rating. Russell was released by the Des Moines Buccaneers (United States Hockey League) last week and signed by Odessa. Russell attended Odessa’s training camp in August but declined a roster spot after making the Bucs. With Des Moines, Russell appeared in 5 games, collecting zero points with a -1 rating. Russell is committed to Harvard University (NCAA, D1) in 2017-18.

1,000 Watts: Jacks defenseman, Jason Watts, 19, made a statement in his Odessa debut Thursday night. The prized tender signee by team president Kevin Leisgang used every ounce of his 6’1” 238 lb. frame, laying the body throughout the game and even earning top penalty kill minutes. Watts ended his first game with zero points, a -1 rating and two PIM. The numbers don’t tell the whole story,Watts, physicality was relentless in his Jacks debut, continuously leaving IceRays laid out on the ice. In 20 games with the Wooster (Ohio) Oilers (NA3HL), Watts had 14 points (1 goal, 13 assists), a +4 rating and 36 PIM.

Sjodahl-Time: Jacks center, Hampus Sjodahl, 20, collected his team-leading 11th goal of the season on Thursday and his third of the year against Corpus in as many games. Sjodahl has 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in his last 10 games with a +7 rating. Hampus leads the Jacks in points (21), goals (11) and plus-minus (+12).

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