Saturday night the Jacks faced the Lone Star Brahmas to close out their 3-in-3 series as well as the season series. Odessa was leading the season series, 4-3 heading into the final game. They picked up their fourth win over Lone Star on Friday after scoring in the final seconds of regulation to skate away with a 2-1 victory.
Odessa started the first period putting a lot of pressure on Arthur Smith. While they did manage to produce seven shots, Smith denied them all. Lone Star had their fair share of scoring chances in the first period, but they were unable to beat Greg Orosz on any of their seven attempts. Resulting in another scoreless first period for the second-straight night.
The second period is when the scoreless game would finally be broken. However, it did not come until there were less than four minutes remaining. The goal was scored by Tanyon Bajzer (21) while Odessa was on the powerplay. The Brahmas produced ten shots in the second period and were still unable to beat Orosz. After 40 minutes of play, Odessa was leading, 1-0, but being outshot 17-14.
In the final period, the Brahmas once again had a ten-shot period and would convert on one of them. At the 9:31 mark of the period, the Brahmas were on the powerplay, and Jacob ManDonald (4) would end up beating Orosz to tie it at one. Odessa tallied six shots in the third but was unable to regain the lead. Resulting in the game going into overtime. Odessa did not waste much time in the extra period. After Orosz made a save from the slot, Ryan Mansfield (19) carried the puck out of the zone and down the left wing. His speed allowed him to get around a Brahmas skater and then he was one-on-one with Smith. The captain sent a backhander through Smith’s five-hole to give the Jacks a 2-1 win. Lone Star ended the night with 29 shots and Odessa had 21. Both teams went 1/5 on the powerplay.
Ryan Mansfield had this to say about his game-winning goal, “It keeps the meaningful hockey going. Thursday wasn’t exactly our style of hockey. We didn’t come out the way we wanted to but the last two games we played our brand of hockey and I felt like we outplayed them both nights.” The win improves the Jacks record to 28-25-1-2 (59 points). They are now only six points out of the final playoff spot with four games remaining. Odessa finishes their season series with Lone Star with a 5-3 record. Marking the most wins against Lone Star in a single season. Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say following the win, “We competed, and I thought we worked hard. Greg was solid again in the net tonight and gave us a chance to win. Was nice to see Manny finish it off. You never want to give a team a point but at the end of the day they are already in the playoffs, and we got two, so we are excited about it.” Odessa will be on the road this weekend for the final time this season. Their opponent is the New Mexico Ice Wolves, who currently hold the final playoff spot. The Jacks must win both games in regulation to keep their playoff hopes alive. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden