Last night the Jacks traveled to El Paso for the first time this season. Odessa came into the game leading the season series, 3-1. These two teams have not seen one another since Nov. 11-12. All three wins Odessa has on El Paso this season were by two goals.
Odessa has dominated the opening period all season long and yesterday was no different. Cameron Dunn (4) broke free for a breakaway and beat Nolan Suggs at the 6:38 mark. The Jackalopes kept attacking El Paso and would be rewarded for it. With less than five minutes remaining in the period, Emerson Goode (25) forced the puck past Suggs on the short side. Giving Odessa a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The Jacks were outshooting the Rhinos, 11-8.
El Paso wasted little time cutting the lead in half as Camden Bajzer (2) tipped a shot past Greg Orosz just 24 seconds into the second period. Shortly past the halfway point of the period, Noah Marino (3) walked into the right circle and fired a low shot that beat Suggs in the five-hole. It marked the first goal for Marino in a Jackalopes jersey. The 3-1 lead did not last that long as only minutes later, Tyler Green (5) went on a breakaway and best Orosz blocker side. Resulting in a 3-2 lead for the Jacks heading into the second intermission. El Paso was outshooting Odessa, 24-23 through 40 minutes of play.
For the second-straight period, the Rhinos got an early goal from Camden Bajzer (3). There was a delayed penalty and a collision with Orosz that led to Camden getting his second of the night. Odessa would regain the lead after William Marshall (5) put home a rebound at the 8:56 mark. However, El Paso would tie it less than two minutes later. The tying goal was scored by Green (6) after he received a cross-ice pass from Camden. It was the first time the Rhinos scored four goals in a game since their win over Lone Star on Jan. 13. The 4-4 score would hold throughout the rest of the period resulting in overtime hockey. It was the third South Division game of the night that required more than 60 minutes. El Paso was outshooting Odessa, 36-35, heading into the overtime period. Odessa is T-2nd in win percentage in games exceeding 60 minutes (.875%). Both teams had spurts of scoring chances, but each goalie was standing on his head which would result in the game being decided in a shootout. The Jacks were 4-1 in shootouts this season and El Paso was 1-0. Only one goal was scored in the shootout, and it came from J.R. Perdion. Odessa would win the game 5-4 and increase their win streak to four games. They outshot El Paso, 41-39. Odessa went 0/1 on the powerplay and El Paso went 0/2.
The Jacks remain in fifth place and eight points out of a playoff spot. Head Coach Scott Deur stated this after the shootout win, “I thought in the first period we controlled the pace of play but then in the second and third I thought we were chasing too much. Thankfully though we win the shootout and get the two points which are all that matters right now.” The Jacks will look to tie their season-high win streak tonight as puck drop for game two is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MST.
Photo credit: Danne Braden