Jacks close 2019 with 5-1 loss to Topeka

TOPEKA, KS – The Odessa Jackalopes (7-19-1-1) fell to the Topeka Pilots (19-9-1-1) by a score of 5-1 at the Stormont Vail Events Center in Topeka on Saturday night.

Unlike Friday night, the Pilots struck first in the opening period on a great individual effort by Shawn Kennedy to put the Pilots up 1-0.

In the second, Topeka scored in the first minute of the period while playing four-on-four. That started an offensive explosion that saw the Pilots score three more goals, including one in the final minute of the second period, to take a commanding 5-0 lead. It was a lead they held after 40 minutes of play.

In the third period, the Jackalopes got a power play and converted soon after.

Matt Clark received a pass at the top of the point, in the middle of the ice, and fired a hard slap-shot in past Topeka netminder Josh Langford to register his third goal of the season and put Odessa on the board.

Even though the Jackalopes had some more chances, they could not find another goal and fell to the Pilots 5-1 to end 2019 on a ten-game winning drought.

Jackalopes netminder Noah Ping made 29 saves on 34 shots faced. The Jacks finished the night with 18 shots on goal. Despite the loss, Odessa looked strong on the penalty-kill, not allowing Topeka to score a single power-play goal all weekend. The Jackalopes will take a two-week break for the holidays to rest and regroup which should allow them to heal up and mentally reset as they get set to start the 2020 part of their schedule.

They will start 2020 on the road with a three-game series against the Lone Star Brahmas in North Richland Hills in early January.