NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — Despite being down for most of the game, the Odessa Jackalopes (18-28-2) continued to fight back against the Lone Star Brahmas (24-18-7). Unfortunately their comeback attempt fell short as the Jackalopes fell 4-3 to the Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Center on Friday night.
The Brahmas got out to a 2-0 lead before the first period was ten minutes old, taking advantage of their speed and offensive fore-check. But the Jackalope quickly countered as Vaclav Zidek forced a turnover at his own blue line.
The Praha native found himself with a breakaway from center-ice in. Utilizing a nifty forehand-backhand deke, Zidek deposited the puck into the back of the net. Zidek’s goal pulled the Jackalopes within one and gave Odessa new life as they started to open things up for the remainder of the period. While unable to score before the first ended, they started playing on a more even footing with Lone Star.
In the second period, after the Jackalopes were unable to convert on a power play, the Brahmas scored an awkward goal from a short angle on their second power play of the game. The shot from the right corner caught Jacks netminder Alex Camarre off-guard and the puck ricocheted off his skate and into the net.
Down 3-1 in the second the Jacks fought on and managed to score again off a goal-mouth scramble late in the period. After a point-blank shot by Joseph Winkelmann hit the post, it deflected to Michael Sacco who buried the rebound as he crashed the net.
Sacco’s goal pulled the Jackalopes to 3-2 as the second period ended. Odessa had another power play given to them in the late stages of the second but they were unable to convert either in the second or in the carryover in the third period.
Instead it was the Brahmas who scored shortly after the Jackalopes’ power play had expired. Down 4-3, the Jackalopes again fought back. Taking advantage of a turnover, Carl Skarstrom streaked in over the Brahma blue line on the left side and was able to stuff the puck in short side as he streaked in towards the goal.
In a familiar situation, the Jackalopes were down one goal with eight minutes to play. They drew a power play opportunity shortly after Skarstrom’s goal but Odessa failed to convert. They finished the night 0/4 on the man advantage.
The Jacks had some looks in the final minute with the goaltender pulled, including a net-mouth scramble, but their good fortune would not extend any further as Lone Star held off Odessa for a 4-3 win.
With the loss, and a Corpus Christi win, the Jackalopes now sit 11 points out of a playoff spot with 12 games remaining in the regular season. They will play the Brahmas again on Saturday night in their final game against Lone Star this season.