Jacks Charge Late, Come up Short, 3-2



Jan. 27, 2012



Jacks remain winless against Amarillo in return to Ector County Coliseum.


ODESSA, TX– In their first home game in three-plus weeks, the Odessa Jackalopes mounted a late rally, but ultimately folded to the Amarillo Bulls, 3-2 on Friday at Ector County Coliseum. With the loss, the Jackalopes fell to 14-20-5 on the season and with 33 points remain alone in fifth place in the NAHL’s South Division standings, ten points back of the Corpus Christi IceRays for the South Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.

Midway through a crisp first period for both teams, Amarillo struck first, as NAHL goal-scoring leader Brooks Behling swatted home a one-time feed low in the Odessa slot from Mike Erickson and Ryan Cole at 8:02 of the frame to stake the Bulls to a 1-0 lead. After a choppy, penalty-riddled start to the second period, the Bulls extended their lead at 14:59 when a bouncing puck deflected off the end-boards in the Odessa zone, evaded Connor Hellebuyck in the Jackalopes’ net and was tapped home by Amarillo’s Matt Johnson on the power-play.

Looking to stem the tide in the third period, Odessa was dealt a blow early on, as Amarillo’s Mike Davis sprung linemate Clint Carlisle on a breakaway less than a minute into the frame and the Trophy Club, Texas native beat Hellebuyck to the glove-side to make it 3-0 Bulls.

With the pressure on late in regulation, the Jackalopes surged, breaking through on the scoreboard at 10:18 of the third period on a Tyler Poulsen breakaway goal, his seventh of the season and 13th point, assisted by Curt Rau. Minutes later, it was Josh Obregon poking a power-play tally past Amarillo goaltender Mike Taffe at 17:23 of the frame to draw Odessa within a goal with Jalen Krogman and Mikko Virtanen notching assists on the play.

In the latest edition of what has become a fierce rivalry, the Jacks and Bulls earned 102 combined penalty minutes in the game and five total game ejections, as Odessa’s Tyler Minx and Alex Ostrowski were sent off early, as were Bulls forwards Joe Kozlak, Omar Mullan and Behling. In seven meetings with Amarillo this season, the Jacks have yet to earn a point, going 0-7-0 so far in the two teams’ regular season series.

Next up for the Jackalopes, it’s a critical showdown with the Division rival Corpus Christi IceRays Saturday at Ector County Coliseum with the opening faceoff set for 7:05 pm.

The Odessa Jackalopes celebrate their 15th Anniversary in 2011-12 and drop the puck on 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 by visiting the Jacks online at www.jackalopes.org.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.