ODESSA, TX– The Odessa Jackalopes today released their schedule for the upcoming 2011-12 North American Hockey League season. In their first year as a member of the 28-team NAHL, the Jackalopes will have the opportunity to renew their regional rivalries with teams from Amarillo, Corpus Christi and New Mexico.
Season tickets and mini plans are now on sale for the upcoming season, the 15th at the Ector County Coliseum.
Odessa is a member of the seven-team South Division in the NAHL which also includes the Amarillo Bulls, Corpus Christi IceRays, New Mexico Mustangs, Texas Tornado, Topeka Roadrunners, and Wichita Falls Wildcats. The Jacks will play eight games out of their division which include road trips to Fairbanks, Alaska on October 7th and 8th, then Wenatchee, Washington (Seattle) the following weekend.
“It’s a good schedule, and the travel will be much lighter than what we’ve seen in recent years,” said head coach Paul Gillis. “We’ll still have to navigate through a couple long trips. We always have to work through the annual rodeo road trip in January. But now that we know who we’re playing, we’re all excited to move forward towards the start of the season.”
The Jackalopes will open their season in Blaine, Minnesota with four games against non-divisional opponents before heading to Corpus Christi to play the Ice Rays on September 23rd.
The Jacks home opener will be Friday, September 30th vs. Corpus Christi. Overall, Odessa will play 28 games at the Ector County Coliseum, with 24 of those being played on Friday or Saturday.
The New Mexico Mustangs are the team seen most by the Jacks this season with 10 scheduled meetings. Amarillo and Corpus Christi are on the docket for nine meetings each. Divisional opponent Topeka will play Odessa only four times this year – including twice on the final weekend of the regular season.
The team will play a four-game homestand at the end of October and the start of December for their longest home stretches of the season. Their longest stretch on the road comes in January for seven games as the annual rodeo event comes to the Permian Basin. For the third straight year, the Jacks will play their annual “New Year’s Eve” game against Texas on December 31st.
This season will also be a bit of a reunion between the Jacks and rivals Amarillo, Corpus Christi and New Mexico. Odessa faced each of those teams when they were a member of the Western Professional Hockey League and Central Hockey League.
For the complete 2011-12 regular season schedule visit jackalopes.org.
The Odessa Jackalopes will celebrate their 15th Anniversary this season and their inaugural campaign as a member of the North American Hockey League. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or visiting jackalopes.org.
Follow the Jackalopes all year long on Facebook and Twitter — Twitter.com/ODEJackalopes.