ODESSA, TX– Chris Whitley’s 39 saves stalled the Odessa Jackalopes into a 3-1 loss to the Allen Americans on Tuesday night in game three of their Berry Conference Semifinal series at the Ector County Coliseum. Despite the loss, the Jackalopes still hold a 2-1 edge in the best-of-five series with game four scheduled for Thursday in the Permian Basin.
Whitley’s performance also held the Jackalopes scoreless in seven power play chances. Odessa’s Joel Martin nearly matched the Allen netminder with 38 saves in the loss, his first of the postseason.
After Odessa’s Phil Plante cut Allen’s lead to 2-1 eight minutes into the third period, Nino Musitelli put things out of reach for the Americans with 3:07 to play by converting a 2-on-1 rush with Bruce Graham.
Dave Bonk opened the game’s scoring seven minutes into the night when his wrist shot from the right circle floated past Martin to make it 1-0, Americans. It was the first lead the Americans held in the series.
The 1-0 score would hold up through period two and 6:35 into the final frame when Jarret Lukin tipped a Justin DaCosta shot from the point into the net to make it 2-0. Lukin also added an assist in the game to finish as the only skater with a multi-point night.
Sebastien Thinel and Mike Ramsay each assisted on Plante’s goal. Odessa’s Todd Robinson saw his point streak at 23 games in the defeat.
The loss snaps Odessa’s five-game playoff win streak, and keeps the Americans postseason run alive. Thursday’s game four is a must-win for Allen as Odessa is still one victory away from advancing.
Game four is set for 7:05 PM CST at the Ector County Coliseum on Thursday night. The action can be heard on Classic Rock 102.1 FM.
The Odessa Jackalopes are the Central Hockey League affiliate for the NHL’s New York Islanders and the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The team is currently in the middle of its 14th season. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or visiting jackalopes.org.
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