Jacks Clinch Playoff Spot with 3-1 Win



Mar. 30, 2012



Cornellier tallies twice in tenth Odessa victory in past 12 games.


WICHITA FALLS, TX– In the final meeting between the two teams this season, the Odessa Jackalopes secured a spot in the 2011-12 NAHL playoffs courtesy of a 3-1 win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats Friday at Kay Yeager Coliseum. With the victory, combined with a Corpus Christi loss, Odessa advanced to the postseason in their first campaign as an NAHL team, improved to 27-26-5 overall this season and wrapped up their season-series against Wichita Falls with a 7-0-1 head-to-head record.

Friday’s victory was all about the Jacks’ top line, as Ryan Doucet sparked the scoring at 11:54 of the first period, hammering home a power-play one-timer from linemates Lawrence Cornellier and Jalen Krogman to stake the Jackalopes to a 1-0 lead. After a slight lull to start the second period, Cornellier got in on the scoring, potting his 12th of the season at 9:25 on a feed from Krogman to double the Odessa advantage.

Four minutes later, it was Cornellier striking again, as he poked home a Doucet shot that caromed off the end boards behind the Wichita Falls net and back in front of the Wildcats’ cage. The Jacks entered the third with a 3-0 lead intact, but the only goal in the final frame went to Wichita Falls defenseman Matt Purmal, who stuffed a Damien Lona pass under Odessa netminder Connor Hellebuyck’s outstretched right pad at 2:21 of the period.

All told, the Krogman-Cornellier-Doucet line was responsible for eight total points, with Krogman notching three assists, Doucet a goal and a helper and Cornellier potting a pair of markers and an assist in the Odessa victory.

Hellebuyck was sublime in his league-leading 52nd appearance, stopping 30 of the 31 shots he faced to lift the ‘Lopes into a first-round playoff matchup with NAHL-best Amarillo. In his past three games, the future UMass-Lowell River Hawk has stopped 91 of 93 shots for a remarkable save percentage of 97.8%.

With a playoff spot already wrapped up, the Jacks charge into a meaningless weekend series with the Topeka RoadRunners Saturday and Sunday at the Kansas ExpoCenter in Topeka.

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.