Jackalopes fall 4-3 in New Mexico’s first win

ODESSA, TX — It was a night of pink in the stands, but unfortunately it was the visitors seeing red. The New Mexico Ice Wolves (1-11-0-1) picked up their first ever program win and it came against the Odessa Jackalopes (5-5-1-1) as the Jacks fell to the Wolves 4-3 at the Ector County Coliseum on Saturday night.

The night actually started off well for the Jackalopes as they got out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Kam Ottenbreit was able to put away a rebound off a shot from John Serafin early in the first. After Serafin’s shot was stopped by netminder Josh Gaziano the rebound landed at the side of the crease and Ottebreit deposited the puck into the back of the net to give Odessa a 1-0 lead.

This was followed up later in the period by a power-play goal by Matt Hutton. Vilho Saariluoma fed a perfect pass to Hutton from left to right across the bottom of the slot and Hutton went upstairs on Gaziano to put the Jacks up 2-0. For a while it looked like the Jackalopes were going to cruise to an easy victory and a sweep. The Ice Wolves had other plans.

They capitalized on two key chances in the second period, one on even strength and the other on a power play, to tie the game up 2-2.

This set up a dramatic third period that mimicked the style of the previous two. The Jackalopes started strong, getting lots of chances and eventually capitalizing on one.

After a won face-off John Serafin received a pass across the blue-line before picking his head up and rifling a shot in past the Graziano. The shot sailed into the top corner to put the Jacks up 3-2. Serafin picked up his second point of the game and first goal of the season.

But when Odessa embarked on their fifth power play of the game. New Mexico capitalized on their mistakes. Two failed zone entries resulted in odd-man breaks against and both ended up in the back of the Jacks’ net. New Mexico’s short-handed goals came 33 seconds apart and put the Ice Wolves up 4-3.

Despite some good chances afterwards the Jackalopes failed to find the equalizer and fell in their fourth home loss of the season and first ever to New Mexico. Odessa finished one-for-five on the power play and sent 35 shots on net. Jackalopes netminder Max Miller made 21 saves on 25 shots against.

The Jacks will reset and prepare to host the rival Lone Star Brahmas for a three game series next Thursday, Friday and Saturday series at the JackShack.