Last night the Jacks faced the Oklahoma Warriors for the fifth time this season. Odessa entered the game on a season-high five-game win streak. As for the Warriors, they were trying to get back in the win column after losing their most recent game, 7-4 to New Mexico. This weekend also concludes the Jacks nine-game homestand which also started against Oklahoma.
The Warriors dominated much of the first as they were able to put double-digit shots before the Jacks registered their first of the evening. The Warriors scored the first goal of the game 2:44 into the opening period after Rylan Brady (9) took a slapshot from the left circle. The Jacks were making the most of their chances and would tie the game with 5:01 remaining in the period. The goal was scored by Ryan Kelly (6) from the top of the slot. His goal extended his career-high point streak to seven games (4G, 5A). While it appeared that both teams would go to the locker room tied at one apiece, the Warriors had other ideas. Drew Sutton (10) put Oklahoma back in the lead as he scored a backdoor goal with one minute left in the period. The Warriors finished the first period with 16 shots and the Jackalopes had four.
Odessa came out stronger in the second period putting up 11 shots on Daniel Duris. However, none were able to get past him. For the second-straight period, the Warriors scored a goal in the final minute. Brady (10) grabbed the puck and took a short-side shot that went past the blocker of Greg Orosz. His goal came with 22 seconds left before the end of the period. Making it a 3-1 Warriors lead after 40 minutes of play. Oklahoma was outshooting Odessa, 22-15.
The Jacks continued to fight their way back and in doing so they managed to pull themselves within one. Their second goal of the game was scored by Emerson Goode (14) at the 13:49 mark of the final period. With time winding down and only down by a goal, the Jacks pulled Orosz to send out the extra attacker. Unfortunately, it would not pay off as Joey Delgreco (8) would go on to score two empty-net goals to seal the deal for Oklahoma and give them a 5-2 win. Oklahoma finished with 29 shots and Odessa had 25. The Warriors went 0/3 on the powerplay and the Jacks went 0/1.
Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say following the loss, “At the end of the day we cannot give up goals in the last minute. That is just a poor effort by us. But I think after the first period we started to find our game and were competitive.” The Jacks will conclude their weekend series with Oklahoma tonight at 7:15 p.m. Not only is it the final game for Odessa in 2022 but also their final home game until Jan. 27th.
Photo by: Danne Braden