Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, in association with the North American Hockey League, are happy to announce the 2017 NAHL Showcase schedule at Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN. The Jackalopes will take on inter-divisional foes, the Brookings Blizzard, Kenai River Brown Bears, Janesville Jets, and Johnstown Tomahawks.
The NAHL Showcase is an annual event to kick off the season, taking place this year on September 20-23. The showcase is a four-day tournament that gives coaches of all levels access to the players in the NAHL.
The Jackalopes have participated in 23 games at the showcase since their inaugural year of junior hockey in 2011. The team has an overall record of 10-12-1 at showcase games over that span and have a chance to even it out, if not better, this season. Last year, the Jackalopes went 2-2-0 while in Blaine, including victories over the Northeast Generals and Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
The Jacks will begin the 2017 NAHL Showcase on Wednesday, Sep. 20 at 5:30 pm with a matchup against the Brookings Blizzard. The Blizzard finished the 2016-17 campaign in 3rd place in the Central Division with a record of 30-25-4-1, but falling to the Minnesota Wilderness in the first round of the playoffs. The Jackalopes acquired Brenden Stanko from the Blizzard in July as he will have a chance to beat his former squad. The Jacks and Blizzard have faced off two times in the past six seasons (all at the showcase), splitting the games.
Day two could be a trap game for the Jackalopes early on as they face off with the Kenai River Brown Bears for the 7:15 pm nightcap on Thursday. The Bears had gone 12-46-2 last season and took last place in the Midwest Division. Kenai River has only had four winning seasons out of their 10-year tenure in the NAHL, but they have spurts of greatness, including a big sweep of a hot Fairbanks late last season. These two teams have seen each other only once before, at the 2012-13 Showcase that saw the Jacks beat the Bears in overtime, 5-4.
Friday will have the Jackalopes playing the top team in the Midwest Division from the 2016-17 season, the Janesville Jets. The Jets finished off last year in first place with a 42-13-1-5 record. Janesville made it all the way to the Robertson Cup semis before being batted down by the Lone Star Brahmas in a two-game sweep. The Jets and Jacks have faced off twice before in 2011 and 2015, with the games being split at the Showcase both seasons. Game will take place September 22 at 4:15 pm.
The final day of the Showcase has the Jackalopes taking on the Johnstown Tomahawks in a matchup that will have Evan Somoza playing against his old team on September 23 at 10 am. Johnstown had a great regular season last year, going 40-16-3-1 to hold onto second place in the East Division before being swept out of the playoffs by the New Jersey Titans. The Jacks and ‘Hawks have faced off twice before in the showcase, with Johnstown taking both games.
Following the showcase, the Jackalopes will head to Corpus Christi for a two-game set before returning home for their home opening weekend on October 6 & 7.
All showcase games, as well as all regular season and postseason games, will be broadcast on hockeytv.com, the official broadcast provider of the NAHL, and Classic Rock 102.1 FM.
In 2017-18, the Jacks will embark on their 21st season in the Permian Basin and 7th as members of the North American Hockey League.
The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes season tickets are on sale now! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.
Also, be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all year long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.
— ODESSA JACKALOPES —