BLAINE, MINNESOTA — It was Zach Stern’s first ever start for the Jackalopes. The Denver, Colorado native was drafted in the second round by Odessa in the draft. On Thursday morning, with a crowded goaltending battle facing him, it was his time to shine.
Stern made 32 saves and backstopped the Jackalopes to a 1-0 victory over the Northeast Generals at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
Looking to bounce back from yesterday’s overtime loss, the Jackalopes started out strong in the first period and netted a power-play goal as a result. Connor Lindsoe had the puck at the point and sent a hard shot in on net. Standing in front was Jan Blasko, who was able to get a stick on the shot and deflect it into the net.
Blasko’s first of the season marked the first power-play goal for the Jackalopes this year. The goal also marked Lindsoe’s second straight game with an assist as he also had a helper in the Jackalopes’ lone goal against Maine.
The Generals came on in the second period, peppering Stern with 17 shots on net, but could not break through to tie the game. In the third the Generals also poured on the pressure with eight more shots on goal. Stern made save after save, including one that forced him to quickly move from his left to his right in order to stop a one-time shot with his blocker.
In the end, the Jackalopes held on until the final horn, giving Stern his first ever NAHL win and shutout but also the team’s first victory of the season. The Jackalopes improve to 1-0-1-0 on the year and will take three out of a possible four points out of the Showcase.
The Jackalopes have one final game to play, an exhibition match-up, against the US National Team Development Program at 8:00 pm on Friday night.