Game Preview: Jacks vs. RoadRunners

Odessa Jackalopes vs. Topeka RoadRunners

ODA: 10-9-3 (4th) 22 GP TOP: 17-11-00 (2nd) 28 GP

Friday, November 11, 2015 — 7:05 p.m.

Ector County Coliseum – Odessa, Texas

Tonight’s Matchup: The Odessa Jackalopes welcome the Topeka RoadRunners into Ector County Coliseum for the second time this season. The Jacks swept the Runners back on October 9th and 10th in their lone matchup. Since the Jacks joined the NAHL in 2011, Odessa is 5-21-2 all-time against Topeka.

Last Time Out: The Odessa Jackalopes rallied late to force overtime against Corpus Christi last Friday night at Ector County Coliseum, but couldn’t find the winner in the extra time, suffering their first overtime loss of the year, 5-4. Like Thursday night, Odessa took an early first-period lead, but Corpus responded once again. Brandon Tucker (5) made it 1-0 when he beat Graham Hunt on a spinning slap shot from the high slot at 2:54. Andy McGlynn (4) tied the game at 3:36. After Cooper Zech had taken a tripping penalty at 8:03, Brad Power (5) cashed in on the power play for Corpus at 9:15. McGlynn (5) banked in his second of the period at 11:52 to make it 3-1, ending Dean Shatzer’s night. Connor Stuart (1) got Odessa back into the game, 3-2, when he collected a pass from Zach Zech at the point and beat Hunt short side at 17:31. In the second, the Odessa tied the game on the power play when Eric Carreras (11) snuck a seeing-eye wrister past Hunt at 9:35. Corpus responded again and took the lead late in the second when Regan Cavanagh beat Gunner Rivers to make it 4-3. In the third, Oliver Celec laid into a bomb from just inside the blue line, beating Hunt and tying the game, 4-4. After neither team scored again in regulation, Tobias Kircher (3) split three Jacks in overtime and beat Rivers short-side top shelf for his second winner of the year and first as a member of the IceRays.

Red-Hot Runners: The Topeka RoadRunners have played 16 games since they faced the Jacks more than two months ago. After going 5-5 in their first 10, the RoadRunners have reeled off six-straight wins and have grabbed the second spot in the NAHL South Division. The two goaltenders on the RoadRunners roster back in early October are no longer with the club. Topeka cut back-up goaltender Vladamir Cibulka (2-4-0, 2.50 GAA, 901SV%) who the Jacks beat 4-2 on October 10, and starting goaltender Tyler Johnson (12-6-0, 2.26 GAA, .915SV%) has been promoted to the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL). The Jacks defeated Johnson, 4-2, on October 9.

Stuart Big: Jacks defenseman Connor Stuart, 18, scored his first goal in his NAHL career Friday night against Corpus. Stuart, who has taken over a full-time role for the Jacks on the backend, after resent injuries to the defense, also collected his first assist Friday. Stuart has now appeared in nine games for the Jacks with a -2 rating and 8 PIM. Last year with the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes (T1EHL), Stuart had 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 24 games. Stuart was a forward as a member of the Jr. ‘Yotes.

Carreras Cruising: Jacks forward Eric Carreras, 20, has continued to produce throughout the season and is now tied for the team lead in goals (11) and is second on the team in points with 19 (11 goals, 8 assists). The Jacks acquired the former Philadelphia Jr. Flyer’ from Lone Star via trade at he end of last season.

Hellebuyck Moves to 4-0: Former Jacks Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, 22, allowed career-high four goals Thursday night (4), but still made 25 saves in route to his fourth straight win. After beating Columbus, 6-4, Thursday at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Hellebuyck is now 4-0-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. 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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