Last night the Jacks faced the New Mexico Ice Wolves for the first time this season. Odessa entered the weekend ranked first in the South Division and the Ice Wolves were fourth. Both teams are coming off weekend sweeps. Meaning one of them would have their win streak snapped when the final horn sounded.
The first period saw both teams gaining offensive pressure. New Mexico managed to get 14 shots onto Alex Proctor. The winningest goaltender (7-1) so far in the NAHL was playing in his third-straight game. While Proctor was able to keep the puck out of the net, the Ice Wolves goalie was not as fortunate. Justin Hughes (4) scored at the last possible second of Odessa’s powerplay. Beating Owen Parker far side and giving the Jacks a 1-0 lead. It is the third-straight game in which Hughes has scored a goal. Odessa finished the opening period with 10 shots.
The Jacks started the second period with a 1-0 lead, and it would remain that way when the period was over. Both teams put up 11 shots through the middle frame. The game quickly became a goaltending dual as both netminders were solid between the pipes. Making for an exciting final period.
In the third period the Ice Wolves started to gain a lot of traction and tied it up just past the halfway point. Brandon Holt (1) fired the puck from the top of the left point that after a few bounces wound up in the back of thee net. The game would remain tied until there was just :42 seconds left on the clock. Grant Ellings was positioned at the top of the crease and with the help of some puck luck he recorded his second goal of the season. The Jacks were now trailing for the first time in the game but there was very little time left in regulation. Odessa pulled Proctor to try and replicate some magic like they did last weekend in El Paso. Unfortunately, they were unable to do so. Resulting in a 2-1 loss and their five-game win streak being snapped. New Mexico finished with 44 shots. Odessa had 29 at the end of 60 minutes.
Proctor recorded 42 saves which is the most for him this season. It was the first win for Parker since Sept. 16th against the Northeast Generals. The Ice Wolves went 0/3 on the powerplay and the Jacks went 1/3. The 2-1 victory put New Mexico on a three-game win streak. With their win and Wichita Falls not playing this weekend, New Mexico moved up to third place. Amarillo beat Lone Star last night, 5-2, moving them into a tie with Odessa for first place. Odessa is looking to get back in the win column by splitting their first weekend series against New Mexico. The Jacks and Ice Wolves take the ice for game two tonight at 6:30 p.m. MDT.