Last night the Jacks faced the Shreveport Mudbugs for the third time this season. The season series going into last night’s game was 1-1. The Mudbugs entered the game ties with New Mexico for third place at 40 points. The Jackalopes were in sixth with 31 points. These two teams have not seen one another since the start of October.
The Mudbugs opened up the first period by applying a lot of pressure onto Greg Orosz and the Jackalopes. Odessa was able to sustain all 14 shots from the Mudbugs. The Jacks had some scoring chances on Simon Bucheler but only managed to get four shots on the net-minder. Both teams went to the locker room after the first period tied 0-0.
Early into the middle period, Odessa went on their first powerplay and was able to convert. William Marshall (3) found the loose puck beside Bucheler and fired it into the back of the net. It is the third-straight game in which the Jacks have tallied a power-play goal. Shreveport kept throwing the frozen rubber at Orosz but once again was unable to find an answer for the Hungarian goalie. Odessa took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after 40 minutes of play. Shreveport was outshooting Odessa, 30-14.
In the final period, the Mudbugs were able to tie the game after a bouncing puck caught Orosz by surprise. The goal came off the stick of Maksim Sushchynski (2) with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation. The Jackalopes continued to try and regain the lead, but the horn would eventually sound to end the third period. After 60 minutes of hockey, Shreveport had 42 shots and Odessa had 26. In the 3-on-3 overtime, both teams put up three shots, but the score remained at a stalemate. Resulting in the game being decided in a shootout. Tanyon Bajzer went first and completely deked out Bucheler to put Odessa up 1-0 in the shootout. It would be the only goal in the shootout resulting in a 2-1 win for Odessa. Shreveport finished with 45 shots and Odessa had 30. The Jacks went 1/3 on the powerplay and the Mudbugs went 0/1.
Orosz had this to say after setting a career-high in saves, “We were pretty happy with the outcome, but we have a couple of things to clean up for tomorrow, and then we’ll be right back at it.” Head Coach Scott Deur stated this regarding how important this win was, “Obviously these are teams ahead of us that we are chasing so anytime we can get points against them makes things a little bit easier. But our focus will always be one game at a time.” The puck drop for game two is scheduled for tonight at 7:11 p.m. CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden