WICHITA FALLS, TX — In their eight previous seasons, the Odessa Jackalopes had never started off a season with two straight wins. That changed on Sunday. Unlike Saturday’s thriller where the Jackalopes had to fight back and tie the contest in the final minute, Sunday’s game was almost the opposite.
The Odessa Jackalopes (2-0-0-0) defeated the Wichita Falls Warriors (0-1-0-1) 4-0 at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Sunday night to record their first sweep of the season and their first 2-0 start in program history.
The contest started with a back and forth first period that saw no scoring, bust several` chances at both ends. But in the second period, the Odessa offense came alive as Ben Doherty deflected a pass into the back of the net less then four minutes into the period. The Jackalopes extended their lead again in the second after forward Fletcher Anderson banked a pass off the end-boards and right to Mike Manzo at the base of the left circle. Manzo made no mistake and fired the puck into a wide open net to give Odessa a 2-0 lead.
Jackalopes goaltender Connor Hasley continued his strong game on Saturday into Sunday as he made several big stops in the second period, including a short-handed breakaway.
In the third period, the Jackalopes continued to apply the pressure. Odessa broke though on their third power play of the game thanks to a quick release from Fletcher Anderson from the base of the right circle. The puck found its way in over the left shoulder of Warrior netminder Owen Bartoszkiewicz.
Trailing 3-0, the Warriors desperately tried to pull Bartoszkiewicz with about four minutes to play, but it was all for naught. Mike Manzo picked up his second goal of the game and third of the weekend after he broke through into the neutral zone and scored off of a shot from center ice.
Hasley made 29 saves to earn his first career NAHL shutout in just his second start. In addition, the Jackalopes came away from this weekend with four points and sole possession of first place in the South Division.
The Jackalopes now prepare for their home opening weekend on October 30 as they host the New Mexico Ice Wolves.
Photo Credit: Rebekah Bing