Last night Odessa went up against Amarillo for the first time this season. The Jacks entered the game on a three-game win streak and the Wranglers were on a two-game losing streak. Amarillo is in second place with 13 points and Odessa is in seventh with nine points.
The Wranglers came out aggressive to start the game and would find themselves on their first powerplay about five minutes in. They only used 30 seconds of it as Rihards Simanovics (3) would score the first goal of the game. Just 17 seconds later and Amarillo was right back on the score sheet. This time it was Jacob Halliday scoring his first of the season. That marked the most goals in the opening period for Amarillo this season. The Wranglers would notch their third-unanswered goal with slightly over eight minutes remaining in the period. The goal was scored by Pierce Patterson (1). Despite being down 3-0, the Jacks battled back and got their first goal of the game off the stick of Ryan Mansfield (5). Only a few minutes later and the Jacks were now within one of Amarillo after Tanyon Bajzer (4) made it a 3-2 game. In the final minute Odessa once again was able to beat Carter Clafton giving them three-straight goals. Their third goal came from Tanyon Bajzer (5). It also marked the most goals in the first period for the Jacks this season. Amarillo was outshooting Odessa, 15-11.
Amarillo started the second period with a new goaltender. Luca Ganz replaced Clafton after he let up three in the first. While the Jacks were able to pull themselves out of a three-goal deficit, Amarillo would go on to score three more in the middle frame. It started with another power-play goal from Simanovics (4). Five minutes later Dominik Bartecko (2) would fire the puck past Greg Orosz to make it 5-3 Amarillo. The Jacks would replace Orosz following that goal with Quentin Sigurdson. Shortly past the halfway point, the Wranglers once again found themselves on the powerplay and once again it was Simanovics (5) scoring his third goal of the game. All five of his goals this season have come on the powerplay. Also, at that point Amarillo was a perfect 4/4 on the man-advantage. They came into last night’s game with only four power-play goals this season. The Wranglers had 12 shots in the second period and the Jacks were only able to put up one.
In the final period, Odessa managed to score 1:12 into it after Emerson Goode fed a pass to Josh Austin, who was in the slot and fired it past Ganz for his first NAHL goal. Eight minutes later and Ryan Kelly (2) scored a power-play goal to put the Jacks within one for the second time. In the final stages of the regulation, Tommy Chunchukov (4) scored a 4-on-4 goal to put his squad up by a pair. The Jacks would pull Sigurdson to send on an extra attacker, but Jack Ivey (2) would score on the empty net to make it 8-5 Amarillo. Sigurdson would be pulled again and with 30 seconds left in the game Emerson Goode (7) would get the sixth goal for Odessa and extend his goal streak to five games. The horn would eventually sound to give Amarillo an 8-5 victory. They outshot Odessa 38-20. The Jacks went 1/6 on the powerplay and the Wranglers finished 4/8.
For the second-straight year Amarillo put up eight goals in the first meeting against Odessa. Both teams scored their most goals in a game. It was the fewest shots in a game for Odessa and for Amarillo their 38 shots tied a season high. Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say following the loss, “I thought that was probably the worst game we have played all season. I did not think our effort was very good and we were not competing. But we still had a chance to win the game at the end of the day.” Game two will be tonight at 7:15pm CDT.