NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — You could say it was a step in the right direction, you could say it was a solid effort for 60 minutes, you could also say the Jacks deserved to win the game. But a late penalty doomed the Jackalopes (8-21-2-2) to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Lone Star Brahmas (22-11-1-0) at the NYTEX Sports Center on Friday night.
It was a contest that actually started off in favor of Odessa as they were able to get on the board first thanks to a nifty move by Jack Musa. After receiving a long pass from his brother Joey, Musa stepped over the line and pulled off a nifty move to get around a Brahma defender. Streaking in on the right side, Musa sent a back-handed shot toward the net as slit it between the legs of Brahma netminder Guy Blessing. Musa’s goal jump-started the Jackalopes and marked the first time in five games Odessa netted the first goal.
Despite being out-shot 10-3 and taking four penalties in the first period, the Jackalopes led 1-0 going into the second.
Lone Star quickly found the tying goal on a stretch pass that found a streaking Brahma in the slot who was able to pull of a nice deke on Cooper Black and tie the game up 1-1. The Jackalopes responded about halfway through the period on the power play as Connor Couet fired a point-shot from the middle of the ice that found its way into the back of the net. Couet’s first as a Jackalope put Odessa back in front, but the lead only lasted about two minutes.
The Brahmas, utilizing the long change sent a stretch pass to two fresh forwards to found a way into the Jackalopes zone on a two-one-one and capitalized to tie the game at 2-2.
In the third period, the Brahmas laid siege to the Jackalopes netminder but the Odessa defense held strong and weathered the storm. They went on the attack and had several good chances on a power play but were unable to score. As the game went on, it looked increasingly like the contest was heading to overtime, but a mistake ended up putting paid to that line of thinking.
An ill-advised penalty late in the period gave the Brahmas thier sixth power play of the night. It only took them a minute to capitalize on a rebound and take thier first lead of the game 3-2 with just under two minutes to play.
Odessa had a couple of good looks at the net in the waning seconds, including a brilliant change for Jack Musa at the side of the crease, but the Jackalopes could not find the equalizer. Lone Star was able to score an empty-net goal with one-tenth of a second to play to cap off thier 4-2 victory.
It was a frustrating and heart-breaking result for the Jackalopes who continue to make positive strides, but in the end they gave the Brahmas one opportunity too many, and Lone Start took advantage. The Jackalopes will look for the weekend split on Saturday night against the Brahmas, face-off is set for 7:30 pm.
Photo Credit: Danne´ Braden Photography