NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The Jackalopes faced one of the top netminders in the nation but failed to break through. The Jackalopes (8-32-1-1) fell to the Lone Star Brahmas (34-8-0-1) on Saturday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.
Like Friday night, the Jackalopes fell down in the first period, as the Brahmas capitalized on a close-in shot just over five minutes into the first. This was later followed up by a shot from the right point just as the Jackalopes killed off a Lone Star power play.
Down 2-0 in the second period, the Jackalopes tried, but failed, to get much sustained pressure and it was the Brahmas who scored three unanswered goals in the second period to go up 5-0.
The third period saw more hard hitting and extra emotion from the two rivals as players routinely spared after the whistle to varying degrees. The Jackalopes, who got better by the period, started to get some quality chances on net. The best chance for Odessa was on Garrett Wilderman’s penalty shot in the late stages of regulation.
Wilderman, who was awarded the penalty shot after being hooked on a break-away, made a strong move as he skated to his right and cut into the slot before unleashing a hard wrist shot. Unfortunately for him and the Jackalopes, Lone Star goaltender Cayden Bailey was able to make a quick glove save to preserve his fourth consecutive shutout.
Despite the loss, there were several positives for the Jackalopes, namely the play of goaltender Andrew Takacs and the Jackalopes’ penalty kill. Takacs was strong in his second start for the Jacks, making several big time saves, including one in the second period when he robbed Brahma defenseman Cole Beilke on a wide-open net by stopping the puck with his outstretched stick. Takacs ended the night with 41 saves, a new season high.
The Jackalopes penalty kill was also strong, defeating all three Lone Star power play opportunities.
The Jackalopes will close out the weekend series on Sunday afternoon as they play the Brahmas for the final time this season in North Richland Hills, face-off is set for 2:10 pm.
-Photo Credit: David Dudich