IceRays squeeze past Jacks, 5-4



Jan. 5, 2013



Late goals from Cornellier, Peplinski make things interesting in sixth straight loss.


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – In the fourth of 12 scheduled meetings between the two teams this season, the Odessa Jackalopes fell to the Corpus Christi IceRays Saturday by a final score of 5-4 at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. With the loss, the Jackalopes fell to 5-27-2 overall this season and with 12 points, remain alone in sixth place in the NAHL’s South Division standings.

For the second consecutive game, Corpus Christi opened a 2-0 first period lead on the Jacks, as AJ Jarosz made it 1-0 ‘Rays at 3:49 from Beau Walker and Mike Economos and Caleb O’Brien doubled the Corpus lead at 14:15 on the power-play with Perry D’Arrisso and Walker picking up assists on the play.

In the second period, Anthony Olguin stayed hot for Odessa, scoring his third goal of the weekend and seventh of the season at 2:12 of the middle frame, a man-up tally assisted by Zane Popilock. Corpus Christi responded post-haste however, as Mike Economos slapped home an in-close chance following a defensive zone faceoff for the Jacks less than one minute later.

Odessa reclaimed momentum at 12:23 on a Matt Volonnino transition goal, assisted by Mike Mezzano, but two more Corpus Christi tallies, from Wayland Williams at 17:34 and Walker at 19:37, pushed the IceRays’ lead to three at 5-2 after 40 minutes.

In the third period, the Jacks made it interesting as a Lawrence Cornellier power-play goal at 13:51 and a final minute Jimmy Peplinski marker with the extra attacker on drew Odessa within one, but Corpus held on for their fourth straight win over the Jacks. Corey Hoffman led all Odessa skaters with three assists, Josh Racek notched a pair of helpers and Cornellier’s goal, his ninth power-play tally of the season, lifted him into a tie for the league lead in that category, alongside Texas sniper Brandon Hawkins and Topeka’s Kyle Sharkey.

For the second consecutive game, Odessa goaltender Phil Heinle was impressive, stopping 41 of the 46 shots he faced and the Jacks netted two power-play goals for the second straight game, going two for four with the man advantage.

Next up for the Jacks, the ‘rodeo road trip’ continues with a two-game weekend series at Kay Yeager Coliseum vs. the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Friday and Saturday night.

In 2012-13, the Odessa Jackalopes drop the puck on their second season as a member of the North American Hockey League. Season ticket packages for the Jacks’ sophomore campaign are available now starting at just $179. To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to for more information.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.