Last night the Jacks faced the Wranglers for the first time this season. Amarillo entered the Ector County Coliseum ranked second in the South with a record of 11-4 (22pts). Odessa had a record of 11-6-0-1 (23pts) to start the weekend. Odessa was coming off a split weekend against the El Paso Rhinos. As for the Wranglers, they had a 3-in-3 weekend in which they beat Shreveport twice but were then shut out by New Mexico on Sunday. The Wranglers are the closest team to Odessa in the South Division.
In the opening period of the weekend, the Wranglers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after Logan Cleary (5) scored a power-play goal. Amarillo had the best power play in the NAHL entering this weekend (27%). Shortly past the halfway point of the period and the Jacks were once again on the penalty kill. This time though, Trevor Taulien (3) would score his second short-handed goal of the season. The battle for first place would be tied at one after the first 20 minutes. Wranglers outshout the Jacks through the first period, 9-6.
Not even two minutes into the second period and the Jacks would find the back of the net. Dayne Hoyord (8) found the loose puck at the top of the crease and easily put it past Max Gutjahr. Hoyord’s goal put him in a tie with Chris Duclair for the team lead in goals. That would unfortunately be the last goal the Jacks score all game. As Amarillo would go on to score seven unanswered goals. The leading scorer for Amarillo, Kristaps Skrastins (12), scored short-handed to tie it a 2-2. That was the first time the Jacks allowed a short-handed goal this season. Oliver Bezick, Jakob Peterson, and Ben Oakland all notched their first goals of the season. Putting the Wranglers up 5-2 with under five minutes left in the period. Tommy Chunchukov (3) made it 6-2 Amarill0 at the 17:33 mark. His goal marked the most in any period for the Wranglers this season. As well as their most goals in a game. After the sixth Amarillo goal, Alex Proctor was pulled, and replacing him was Noah Rupprecht. After 40 minutes of play, the Jacks were down 6-2 and being outshot, 21-15.
The final two goals for Amarillo came within the first eight minutes of the final period. Logan Cleary (6) picked up his second of the night. Mason Hendrickson (1) made it 8-2 Wranglers and that is how it would end after 60 minutes. Amarillo outshot Odessa, 29-23. The Jacks went 0/6 on the power play and the Wranglers went 3/8. The win marked the seventh in a row for Max Gutjahr. He has only allowed 13 goals during his win streak. He is also now 10-3 this season and is tied for the most wins in the NAHL.
The loss is the first for Proctor since October 28th against Lone Star. It was the first time the Jacks allowed eight goals in a game since their 8-4 loss to Shreveport on April 10, 2021. The win moved Amarillo into sole possession of first place with an overall record of 12-4 (24pts). The loss gives the Jacks a record of 11-7-0-1 (23pts). New Mexico beat Wichita Falls in overtime last night, so they are now tied with Odessa for second place in the South. Tonight will once again be a battle for first place between the Jacks and Wranglers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 pm and following the game, there will be a live jersey auction at the Ector County Coliseum.