WICHITA FALLS, TX — Lots of shots, lots of penalties, and even bench-side disagreements. To say that Friday’s contest between the Odessa Jackalopes (8-19-2-2) and the Wichita Falls Warriors (16-8-1-3) was intense would be a likely understatement. However, the Jacks came up on the wrong side of the contest as they fell to the Warriors 5-1.
The contest started off on the wrong foot for Odessa as the Warriors were able to pick up the first goal of the contest of a point shot that deflected in front. Odessa fell down further in the second period as the Warriors notched their second and third straight goals to go up 3-0. The Jackalopes had a couple of chances in the early stages of the second period on their only power play of the game, including a shot that hit the cross-bar but they remained scoreless and offensive chances were few and far between.
The Warriors peppered Jackalopes netminder Cooper Black faced shot after shot (51 in all) over the course of the evening and it was largely due to his heroics that the Jackalopes remained within striking distance going into the third period. Black ended the game with 46 saves, a season high.
The final period started much like the second one, the Jackalopes had several quality chances in the early stages, including a penalty shot for forward Joe Schubert. But unfortunately Schubert failed to capitalize on the penalty shot attempt and the Jackalopes,despite their opportunities, could not cash in to turn momentum around in the third period. After the Warriors capitalized on a power play goal to take a 4-0 lead, things started to get heated between the two teams as bodies flew, tempers flared and heated disagreements broke out both on the ice and between the benches.
The Warriors added one more late in the game to go up 5-0, but it was the Jackalopes who had the last laugh. After stealing the puck away in the offensive zone, Odessa forward Fletcher Anderson send a hard pass from the left side to Aidan Cobb all alone in the slot. Cobb sent a hard one-timed shot on net and beat the netminder before he had a chance to react. For Cobb, the goal marked his first in the North American Hockey League, but for the Jackalopes the goal marked a small victory in denying Wichita Falls netminder Owen Bartoszkiewicz his fourth shutout of the season.
The Jackalopes will look to build off the emotion and positive momentum from the end of the contest and carry it over to Saturday where Odessa hopes to split the weekend series with the Warriors, face-off is set for 7:05 pm.
Photo Credit: Danne´ Braden Photography