El Paso Rhinos (5-3-0-0, 10pts) vs. Odessa Jackalopes (2-5-0-1, 5pts)
at Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, TX
Time: Friday 7:15 p.m. CDT | Saturday 7:15 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: HockeyTV | Listen Live Here
What You Need to Know:
All-Time Record: 5-3-0-0
Season Series: 0-0
ODA: 5pts, Goode (4G, 1A)
ELP: 6pts, Cosman (2G, 4A)
Home Opening Weekend:
The Jacks are 8-12-0-5 in the history of their home opening weekends. The Rhinos hosted the Jacks last season for their inaugural home opening weekend and the Jacks won both games. El Paso is already a third of the way to tying their win total from last year. Not only is this weekend against the Rhinos but the Jacks next home series on Nov. 11-12 will also be against El Paso. The Rhinos were the only team last season that the Jacks did not play in the second half of their schedule. The last time these two teams met was on New Year’s Eve and Odessa put up a season-high eight goals.
Odessa has 19 different players that have registered at least one point. Compared to El Paso, who have 15. Both teams have nine players that have scored one goal or more. Each team also has three power-play goals which is tied for the fewest in the South. These two teams are also in the bottom two in scoring in the South. Only two of the top-10 point leaders for Odessa are rookies. The Rhinos do not have any rookies inside their top-10. The top-5 skaters for Odessa are all returners from last season.
The Jacks are coming off their first win since their first game of the season. Snapping a six-game losing streak. The Rhinos went 3-1 at the NAHL Showcase and followed that up by sweeping Corpus Christi the following week. However, they are entering the JackShack on a two-game losing streak after being swept by Lone Star. El Paso also had a bye week last week. A successful weekend for Odessa could put them within one point of El Paso, who are tied with the Oklahoma Warriors for fourth place.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (F: #28 – Tanyon Bajzer)
The Cleveland, OH native is in his final year of junior eligibility. In his rookie year last season, the 6’1”/170lb. right-handed forward totaled 29 points (18G, 11A). With 21 of those points coming in the second half of the season. Putting him tied for sixth last season in points. The 20-year-old has already had a three-game point streak this season which tied a career best from last year. Bajzer has two goals and three assists in eight games and is tied with Emerson Goode for the team lead in points. Last season, Bajzer was named South Division Star of the Week – April 4-10, 2022. Bajzer played the Rhinos five times last season and registered two goals. In 2020-21, Bajzer played for Gilmour Academy (USHS-Prep) and scored 44 points (17G, 27A) in 47 games. Putting him second on the team in scoring.
Rhinos (F: #29 – Bo Cosman)
The native of Milton, GA is in his second and final year of junior hockey. Last season, the 6’3”/190lb. left-handed forward finished his rookie season with 21 points (10G, 11A) in 59 games. Which was seventh on the team in points. The 20-year-old already leads his team with two goals and four assists. Cosman has also recorded a five-game point streak in the eight games he has played this season. He played in all eight games against Odessa last season and tallied two goals and two assists. Prior to reaching the NAHL, the University of Massachusetts commit played 33 games for Rocky Mountain Roughriders 18U AAA and had 33 points (11G, 22A).