Last night the Jacks faced the reigning South Division Champs for the first time this season. Odessa entered the game with a 1-2-0-1 record. New Mexico was 3-1 going into last night’s contest.
The opening period saw a flurry of goals on both sides of the ice. It started with Ryan Mansfield (2) scoring the first goal of the game almost five minutes in. The Jacks held onto the 1-0 lead until Ryan Johnson (3) scored a power-play goal for New Mexico. About two minutes later, Odessa was back on the board after the Albuquerque native, Adam Armijo, scored his first NAHL. Adam had this to say about scoring his first goal in front of his family and in his hometown, “It felt amazing. All my friends and family were here so it was great to do it in front of them.” However only 22 seconds later New Mexico once again tied the game. Their second goal of the game came off the stick of Sully Scholle (3). The horn eventually sounded sending both teams into the locker room with two goals. The Ice Wolves were outshooting the Jacks, 17-6.
The Jacks had their most shots of the game in the middle period but none of their 13 shots would beat Carsen Stokes. The Ice Wolves grabbed their first lead of the game after Yusaku Ando (1) wristed one past Quentin Sigurdson. New Mexico ended the second period with 26 shots and Odessa had 19.
The Jacks continued to pressure in the third period. They kept firing the puck from all angles but were unable to beat Stokes. New Mexico would score two empty-net goals to give them a 5-2 victory on their home opener. The Ice Wolves outshot Odessa, 33-30. The Jacks went 0/2 on the powerplay and the Ice Wolves went 1/1. With the win, Stokes improves to 3-0 on the season and has not allowed more than two goals in a game.
Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say about his special teams following the loss, “Right now on the powerplay we are just being too cute with it. We got to get back to the meat and potatoes of it. On the kill we have to do a better job of getting in the shooting lanes.” Game two is scheduled for tonight at 6:30 pm MT.