SHREVEPORT, LA — You could argue tonight that the Jackalopes deserved to win, they were the better team for longer stretches of time, they out-shot thier opponent and out-chanced them. In fact you could argue that every game the Jackalopes have played at George’s Pond this season should’ve been a win for Odessa. But like those other nights a third period goal proved decisive as the Odessa Jackalopes (10-29-2-3) fell 4-2 to the Shreveport Mudbugs (28-7-2-3) on Friday night.
Odessa had the hot start they were looking for as they were able to get a power-play goal in their first attempt. Joey Musa fed a froward pass to Fletcher Anderson up ice and as he skated toward the net, sent another pass to the back-door where Tyler German was all alone, uncovered. German made no mistake as the put the puck into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Odessa.
The Mudbugs countered though just over five minutes later as a shot deflected off the end-boards right out in front to a Mudbug forward in front who in turn make no mistake to tie the game up 1-1.
In the second period, again the Jackalopes applied string pressure and again they were rewarded as Jack Musa was able to find the back of the net on a wrap-around attempt to put Odessa up 2-1. But again the Mudbugs showed veteran skill and resiliency as they were able to tie the game back up on the power play.
In a tied third period both sides had chances in the early goings, but it was the Jackalopes who had the most of them. They sent plenty of rubber tward the front of the net and players crashing hard. But the Mudbugs boxed out well and goaltender Arsenii Sergeev was on his game.
In the end it was Shreveport forward Garrett Steele who heard destiny calling and decided to make history as his shot from the high-slot found the back of the net with just over two minutes to play. Steele’s goal marked his 9th straight game with a point, a new Shreveport record. The Jackalopes had a chance to tie as Joey Musa nearly found German on the doorstep, but the puck was deflected away at the last minute by a Mudbug stick.
Shreveport was able to score an empty-net-goal in the final minute co close out the 4-2 victory.
It was another close game and a heart-breaker for the Jackalopes as not only they got the first goal of the game, the second straight game they have done so, but also out-shot the Mudbugs 27-23. In the end, the uncanny ability of Shreveport to make a clutch play in the late stages of a hockey game denied the Jackalopes a victory they should’ve deserved.
The Jackalopes will look for a weekend split on Saturday night as they face-off against the Mudbugs again at 7:11 pm.
Photo Credit: Danne´ Braden Photography