Jacks Fall to Stars in Shootout


Traverse City bests Odessa 3-2 despite strong showing from Jacks’ Taylor


BLAINE, MN– Despite a pair of goals from forward Sheldon Taylor, the Odessa Jackalopes fell to the Traverse City North Stars 3-2 in a shootout Thursday, on day two of the 9th annual NAHL Showcase Tournament in Blaine, MN. With the overtime loss, the Jacks fell to 0-1-1 on the season, but earned their first point as a member of the NAHL.

Taylor, a Grosse Isle, Michigan native, keyed the Jacks offense early, tallying his second goal of the season at 16:30 of the first period on a nifty feed from Jacks center Jalen Krogman. Traverse City was quick to respond however, as North Stars winger Alec Shields knotted things up at one apiece exactly one minute later. After suffering a bloodied nose late in the first period, Taylor proved resilient in the second, returning to notch his third goal of the season at 4:47, putting the Jacks up 2-1 with Krogman and defenseman Bryan Mitchell picking up assists on the play. Taylor, the lone Odessa scorer in Wednesday’s game, remains the only Jackalope to tally a goal in 2011-12.

After maintaining a 2-1 lead for the majority of the third period, the Jacks defense buckled late in the game, as Traverse City’s Kyle Schemmp took advantage of an Odessa turnover at 14:40 to tie the game 2-2 and force overtime. After five minutes of four-on-four hockey proved fruitless for either team, the Jacks were held scoreless through four shootout rounds, while the North Stars beat Odessa netminder Connor Hellebuyck twice to earn the win by a final score of 3-2.

Hellebuyck, a Commerce, Michigan native, impressed again Thursday, stopping 36 of the 38 shots he faced. Over the Jackalopes’ first two games of the season, Hellebuyck has saved 64 of 68 shots, for a save percentage of .941.

The Jacks return to the ice Friday when they’ll take another crack at earning their first NAHL win against the North Division’s Janesville Jets. Be sure to tune in as ‘Voice of the Jacks’ Tony Brown will have full play-by-play coverage of Jacks-Jets starting with the H&S Valve Pregame Show, live from the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN at 10 am Friday morning on the flagship station for Jackalopes Hockey, Classic Rock 102.1 FM.

The Odessa Jackalopes celebrate their 15th Anniversary in 2011-12 and drop the puck on their inaugural campaign as a member of the North American Hockey League.  Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or visiting jackalopes.org.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long, and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.