Last night Odessa faced the Amarillo Wranglers for the sixth time this season. It was also the tenth-straight home game for the Wranglers (5-3-1). Amarillo won game one by a score of 1-0. Marking their first shutout of the season and the fourth time this year Odessa has been held scoreless. The Jackalopes went into game two needing to win in order to split the weekend and remain four points behind Amarillo.
For the second-straight night, both teams went with the same net-minder. The opening period was very similar to the night before as neither team was able to convert during it. The Wranglers produced 14 shots and the Jackalopes put up 11.
Unlike game one, it did not take three periods for the first goal of the game to be scored. While Odessa was on the powerplay Jackson Hay took a shot from the right point that was deflected by Ryan Kelly (8). It was their first power-play goal since Dec. 10, 2022, against Corpus Christi. Late into the period the Wranglers would go onto a 4-on-3 powerplay and make the Jacks pay for it. Ben Ivey (5) got the puck on the backdoor and put it right past Orosz. The tied game would not last long as Odessa was quickly back in the driver’s seat. This time the birthday boy, Andrew Stacey, passed the puck to the front of the net and Emerson Goode (18) tipped it past Clafton. Odessa took the 2-1 lead into the second intermission. It was the first time this weekend that a team went into the locker room with the lead. Amarillo was outshooting them though, 29-21.
In the third period, Odessa would add to their lead after Jack Christen (2) fired a shot from the right circle that flew past Clafton. The Wranglers kept trying to decrease the hole they were in but even with their net empty, they were unable to do so. Odessa would win the game 3-1 and split the weekend. Amarillo put up 43 shots and Odessa had 29. Both teams went 1/4 on the powerplay. The Wranglers have now only scored one goal in each of their previous four games.
Ryan Kelly had this to say after the win, “It is good to get the powerplay going, we have sort of struggled with that this year, so it felt good to get one of those for us.” Kelly stated this about playing Lone Star on Monday, “It is just another game to us, if we stick to our systems and everyone works hard like they did tonight we will be fine.” The Jackalopes next game will be tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. CDT against first-place Lone Star.
Photo credit: Danne Braden