Lone Star Brahmas (4-5-2-1, 11pts) vs. Odessa Jackalopes (9-4-0-0, 18pts)
at Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, TX
Time: 7:15 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: (Home) HockeyTV
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 0-0
LOS: 16pts, Niemo (6g-10a)
ODA: 13pts, Perdion (5g-8a)
Home Sweet Home:
The Jacks are finally playing in their home opening weekend. After spending the last 13 games on the road they will take the ice tomorrow for the first time this season in front of their hometown crowd. This will be the fourth time the Jacks are playing on a home opening weekend this season. With the previous three coming in Wichita Falls, Shreveport, and El Paso. If the Jacks win all three games against the Brahmas, then they will tie their record from last year (12-36-4-4). Odessa went 10-14-2-2 as the home team last year. They went 2-22-2-2 while one the road.
3 In 3:
This will be the first of four times this season that the Jacks will play three games in three days. The Jacks are tied with Corpus Christi for the most games played in the South Division so far (13). With Amarillo and El Paso not in action this weekend, it gives the Jacks the chance to take sole possession of first. Three games in three days can be tiring on the players but having home ice advantage certainly gives the Jacks a favorable edge.
The Jacks enter their home opening weekend 7-2 versus teams from the South Division. The Jacks have yet to play Amarillo, who they are tied with for first. This is also the first time this season that the Jacks are going up against the Brahmas. Three of the last four Robertson Cup winners have been from the South. Lone Star won the Robertson Cup in 2017. Shreveport won in 2018 and last year. Last season, the Jacks finished 2-9-0-1 against the Brahmas.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Brahmas (F: #28 – Nicholas Niemo)
The 20-year-old is in his second season in the NAHL, and it is also his last. Last year, Niemo played 52 games for the Brahmas and totaled 53 points (17g-36a). He finished second on the team in scoring and had the best plus/minus with a plus 20. The Bentley University (Atlantic Hockey) commit leads his team in assists and is tied for the lead in goals. One third of his goals have come via power play. The Middlebury, VT native earned South Division Star of the Week for the Week of November 9-15, 2020. The 5’9”/165lb. right-handed forward was drafted #156 overall in 2021 by the Lincoln Stars (USHL). Niemo also made the 2020-21 NAHL All-South Division Team.
Jackalopes (F: #9 – Rylan Yates)
The 18-year-old is currently on a team high point streak at seven games (3g-5a). His eight points puts him sixth on the team in scoring. The 6’1”/200lb. right-handed forward is in his first season in the NAHL. Last season the native of Antioch, CA played for the Northern Cyclones (NCDC) recording eight points in 22 games (3g). Yates is sixth on the team in assists and tied for seventh in goals. In 2019-20 he played 51 games for the Wenatchee Wilderness 16U AAA (31g-54a). This past Saturday, Yates had a fantastic tape-to-tape pass to Emerson Goode that resulted in the Jacks tying the game at 3-3 before eventually winning in overtime.