The Jackalopes took their 3-1 record into the last day of the showcase against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, looking to close out the showcase on a high note. The game did not turn out as planned as the Jacks dropped the game 3-1.
The game started off slow on both ends. Not a lot of shots were fired on net early on as both teams seemed to be half asleep with the 9am start. Action picked up later in the period, with shots ending in the Jackalopes favor 15 to 9, despite a scoreless period for both teams.
Both teams came out a little stronger in the second period with hits being put on and shots blocked. The game started to get more and more physical, resulting in two Jackalopes power plays, but they unfortunately couldn’t convert.
14:30 into the period, the Knights got on the board first with a goal from Aiden Beck. Late in the second, the Knights went on a 5-on-3 man advantage, as Zach Heintz and Jake Levin took separate penalties that started with 1:49 left in the period.
Heading into the 3rd period, the Knights had a 1-0 lead, hoping for a shutout. The Jackalopes were not laying down and got some help from their top line. Fantastic puck movement between Heintz and Bastien Maia led to a goal by Zach Zech to tie the game at one a piece.
With just under four minutes remaining in regulation, Connor Wood took a cross checking penalty after scuffling with the Knights. The high-paced, physical game got to Connor Wood as he yelled back at the Knights player and received a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct, leading to an ejection.
“We showed very well in all four games. In the two games we lost, we made lack of judgement plays at the wrong time and it cost us,” said Captain Ryan MacKellar.
The hopeful Jacks weren’t able to get the momentum back as the Knights’ Matt Kidney netted one past goaltender Jon Flakne with only 1:49 remaining in regulation. The Jackalopes pulled Flakne and tried to get the game-tying goal with the extra attacker on the ice. There was no luck as the Knights sealed the deal with an empty net goal by Paul Camilluca as time expired.
The Jackalopes fired off 40 total shots, but only one was able to find the back of the net with Grant Valentine between the pipes. Flakne was able to stop 27 of 29 shots for the Jackalopes en route to his first loss of the season. The Jackalopes are now 3-2 on the season, hoping they can have a good series against the division rival Wichita Falls Wildcats next weekend on the road.
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