ODESSA, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes (7-16-1-1) fell to the Amarillo Bulls (17-5-1-2) 7-2 in a hard-hitting and intense game at the Ector County Coliseum on Friday night.
Despite a good start for the Jackalopes, where they were winning races to pucks and getting opportunities, it was a penalty shot that changed the game around in the first period. After Jonathan Young scored off a penalty shot in the first period, the Bulls scored two more goals (one of them by Young) to take a 3-0 lead over the Jackalopes.
Odessa answered however with a goal by Vilho Saariluoma in the closing seconds of the first period. Off a face-off Saariluoma picked up the puck and streaked in from the left circle towards the front of the net. Shielding the puck from a pock-check, Saariluoma out-waited Amarillo netminder Charlie Glockner and put a shot between the goalie’s legs. Saariluoma’s goal came with just ten seconds left in the first period and gave Odessa some much needed life.
But in the second period Amarillo responded. The Bulls scored three more goals in the third, including one more by Young for the hat-trick, to put them up 6-1. The Jacks were able to get one more on the scoreboard thanks to Matt Hutton’s breakaway goal that made it 6-2. With the goal Hutton extended his scoring streak to three games.
The second period was host to some intense action and lots of penalties, that even included several fights between the two sides.
Jackalopes netminder Aaron Randazzo was pulled in favor of emergency backup goaltender after letting up the sixth goal. He finished with 18 saves on 24 shots against. In his place, Jaeger Reed made 14 stops on 15 shots in his Jackalopes debut, only letting in one goal in the third period.
The Jackalopes finished the game with 30 shots on goal in comparison to Amarillo’s 39 and were scoreless on six power-play attempts against the number one road penalty-kill in the North American Hockey League.
The Jackalopes will close out the weekend series with the final home game of 2019 on Saturday at 7:15 pm. The Jackalopes will be hosting a teddy-bear toss and a jersey auction on Saturday night.