SHREVEPORT, LA – You could chalk this one up in the column of games the Jackalopes should’ve won. The Jacks did nearly everything you would’ve wanted to see in a tough road environment, they came out fast, they had good energy, they established a physical presence and scored the first goal of the game. But in the end, turnovers cost the Jackalopes.
Odessa (4-5-1-0) fell 3-2 to the Shreveport Mudbugs (7-1-1-0) in overtime on Friday night at George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum.
The Jackalopes started strong right from the get-go, established a physical presence and were able to get the first goal of the game. Odessa defenseman Charlie Banquier was able to send a point-shot low on the ice that beat Shreveport netminder Cole Hudson low. Banquier’s first in his North American Hockey League career put Odessa up 1-0.
The Mudbugs came on strong though in the latter half of the first period and were able to tie the game off a pass in front that was one-timed into the back of the net. Though tied, the Jacks pressed on undeterred and saw Nick Siffringer nearly capitalize on a breakaway in the waning seconds for the first period.
In the second period, Shreveport had a strong start and was able to capitalize on a turnover in the Jackalopes’ defensive zone and take their first lead of the game 2-1 after a short-angle shot that beat Jackalopes goaltender Connor Hasley up high. But the Jackalopes rallied and saw one of their new faces make a huge impact. Dartmouth commit Joey Musa received a pass in the neutral zone a streaked into the Shreveport zone on the left side before cutting towards the slot and ripping a quick shot in past Hudson to tie the game 2-2.
Back and forth action followed in the third period as both sides had excellent chances to score. But both netminder remained strong and forced the game into overtime.
The Jackalopes seemingly dominated the extra session, limiting Shreveport’s chances while getting several high-quality ones of their own. But a turnover at the blue line in the final minute led to a breakaway for Shreveport defenseman Chris Hedden. Hedden streaked in before sending a quick shot over the shoulder of Hasley to win the game for the Bugs.
Despite the loss the Jackalopes saw some positives, aside from the point gained in the standings the penalty kill was perfect on the night. In addition, the power play took strides and look vastly improved despite being held of the scoreboard. The Jackalopes also out-shot the Mudbugs 33 to 24.
The Jackalopes will look for the weekend split tomorrow night in Shreveport, their last road game of 2020, at 7:11 pm.
Photo Credit: Danne´ Braden Photography