ODESSA, TX— With the Holy Grail of hockey in attendance the Jackalopes put forward a game that would’ve made Lord Stanley smile. Perhaps in Hockey Heaven he was.
The Odessa Jackalopes (12-16-0-1) defeated the Shreveport Mudbugs (14-12-1-4) 4-1 at the Ector County Coliseum on Friday night.
The Jackalopes picked up the first goal of the hockey game after a point shot was blocked in front the puck found its way to Everett Wardle who sent a back-handed shot on net that beat Mudbug netminder Leo Chuard and made it 1-0 Odessa.
The Jackalopes would add to their lead a few minutes later when Jared Christy, the Jackalopes leader in points, streaked down the left-wing side and sent a short-angle shot towards the goal that somehow found a way to beat Chuard high. Christy’s first of the night and eleventh of the season made it 2-0 Odessa after the first period.
In the Second period, after a strong push by Shreveport the Jackalopes embarked on their third power play of the game. It didn’t take long for them to capitalize. Michael Sacco found Zach Heintz all alone in the slot on a quick pass from the left side.
Heintz, who was stopped on a one-timer attempt earlier in the period, made no mistake this time as he sent a high shot in that beat Chuard over his glove. The power-play goal for Odessa pu them ahead 3-0 in the hockey game.
But the Mudbugs did not go down without a fight. After a Jackalope penalty had expired the Bugs got on the board after a loose puck was found by Lukass Sicevs who shoveled on into the back of the net with less than a minute to play in the second period.
With the score at 3-1 in favor of the Jacks, both sides came out swinging to firmly grasp momentum. Both Chuard and Kade Phipps made spectacular saves to maintain the 3-1 score. Eventually the Bugs decided to pull their goaltender and that’s when the Jacks pounced.
After Shreveport failed to hold the zone, Jared Christy forced a turnover at center and scored an empty net goal to ice the game 4-1. Christy finished the night with two goals and one assist on the evening and was the number one star. Kade Phipps made 36 saves over the course of the game.
After the contest the Jacks celebrated with the Stanley Cup and posed for a team photo with the historic trophy.
The Jackalopes will look to sweep the weekend tomorrow against the Mudbugs at 7:11 pm at the JackShack.