NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — It’s hard to get a good start in the first period when you spend eleven minutes of that period in the penalty pox. It’s also hard to come back from a two-goal deficit to the Lone Star Brahmas. They are one of the best teams in the South for a reason.
The Odessa Jackalopes (7-11-1-0) faced both scenarios on Friday night as they fell to the Lone Star Brahmas (17-6-1-0) by a score of 3-1 at the NYTEX Sports Center.
After coming up empty on an early power play, the Jackalopes took four consecutive penalties, including a five-minute major, in the first period alone. The Brahmas capitalized on two of theses power plays, both on deflections from point shots, to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
But the Jackalopes regrouped and fought back in the second period. Jacks forward Dayne Hoyord picked off a pass in neutral ice and skated forward, one against two. Both Lone Star defenseman backed up, giving Hoyord time and space to send a hard and accurate wrist-shot towards the upper-right corner. The shot beat Brahma netminder Graham Burke over his blocker and the Jackalopes found themselves within one, down 2-1.
The second period passed with scoring chances at a premium for both sides. Cooper Black stood tall in the late stages, stopping a wrap-around attempt in the final seconds of the period to keep Odessa within one.
In the third period, the Jackalopes found themselves on a power play less than two minutes into the period. But when faced with a golden opportunity to tie the game and set the tone for the period, Odessa came up empty.
Instead, it was Lone Star who found the critical goal in the third period.
Forcing a turnover in the neutral zone, Brahma forward Luke Johnson caught the Jackalopes defenseman in a change and charged ahead into the Odessa zone. Having all kinds of time and space after splitting the Jackalopes defense, Johnson rifled a shot in past Black for to give Lone Star a 3-1 lead. These lead held for the remaining fifteen minutes of the third period.
Odessa ended the night with 17 shots on net, while Black made 22 saves on 25 Lone Star shots. The Jackalopes, still looking for their first win of 2021, will look t split the weekend series against the Brahmas on Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Danne´ Braden Photography