TOPEKA, KS – It was an effort worthy of a better result, but Odessa Jacklopes could not find enough to get the win. They fell to the Topeka Pilots 7-6 in the shootout in their first game of the season.
Led by assistant captain Jared Christy, the Jacks surged ahead to two separate leads in the first period, only to see the Pilots quickly storm back to tie the game up. The first period ended with both teams tied 2-2.
The second period saw Topeka jump out to a 4-2 lead in the first three minutes of the second period. That ended the night for starter Alex Camarre and saw C.J. Hapward come in goal for the Jacks.
Brick-walled by Hapward, the Jacks stormed off a Pilots surge in the second period, and were able to slowly claw their way back in the third period.
Third year returner Zach Heintz brought the Jacks within one in the opening two minutes of the third period. This was soon after followed up by Rex Moe’s first goal of the season that came on the Jacks’ power play. Odessa was 2/5 on the man advantage on Thursday.
The following Jackalopes power play saw them give up a shorthanded goal to Austin McCarthy to cap his hat trick.
Undeterred the Jacks stormed back during the remaining power play time and quickly tied things back up. Carl Skarstrom netted his first goal of the season to tie the game up 5-5.
The pilots continued to apply the pressure though and almost had the game won when Brendan Schultz scored on a great individual effort. But Vaclav Zidek was able to counter, picking up a juicy rebound in front of the net and rifling a shot past Pilot goaltender Sam Metcalf.
The game proceeded to a 3-on-3 overtime that saw both teams get chances to score. The Best chance for Odessa came midway through the period as Rex Moe, already with a goal in hand, streaked pas a defender on the far-right side. Moe streaked in on goal, and sent a backhander toward the net that he the left side post squarely before deflecting away to the corner.
With both teams tied after overtime, the Jacks preceded to a shootout. Topeka won the shootout 2-0 with McCarty scoring the winning goal.
Odessa, now 0-0-1 on the season, will play the Pilots, 1-0-0, again on Friday night. Puck-drop is set for 7:05 pm.