Yesterday the Jacks went up against the Lone Star Brahmas for the fourth time this season. Odessa has not seen Lone Star since the Jacks had their home-opening weekend at the end of October. The Jacks entered this weekend 1-1-0-1 against the Brahmas. With all three games being decided by one goal. At the time of puck drop last night, the Jacks were tied with Amarillo for second place (40pts). Lone Star was right on their heels as they were in fourth place with 38 points.
The Brahmas came out very hot within the first five minutes of the game. Their constant pressure on Alex Proctor would pay off as they scored the game’s first goal. Their goal was scored by their leading scorer, Nicholas Niemo (16). However, only 15 seconds later Evan Orr (4) would tie the game. He sent a blast from the top of the left point right past Arthur Smith. The Jacks would come to life in the second half of the first period by scoring once again. This time it was Frank Dovorany (2) scoring his first goal in a Jacks jersey. He made it 2-1 Jacks with only 70 seconds left before the first intermission. Odessa would go into the locker room after 20 minutes up 2-1 on Lone Star. The shots were also tied at 11.
It took a long time before either team would find the back of the net in the middle period. Charlie Banquier scored his first goal this season after going on a breakaway and following through on his own rebound. Giving Odessa a 3-1 lead in the final minutes of the period. Although, the Brahmas were not backing down as once again Nicholas Niemo (17) would convert on a backdoor pass from Artur Turansky. His goal came with less than 30 seconds left in the period. Resulting in a 3-2 Odessa lead after 40 minutes of play. Brahmas were leading in shots, 19-18.
Within the first three minutes of the final period, Ray Murakami (2) scored a power-play goal to tie the game at 3 apiece. With just under 10 minutes to go, Trevor Taulien (6) sent a slapshot from the right point that flew right past Smith. The physicality from both sides boiled over in the third as Conner Couet and Connor Gallagher dropped the gloves with just over six minutes left in regulation. The Jacks were within a minute of beating the Brahmas, but Charlie Banquier ended up getting a slashing minor called against him. The Brahmas pulled their goalie to give them a 6-on-4 man-advantage. Dylan Smith (9) would deposit the frozen rubber into the back of the net for not only Lone Star’s second power-play goal, but it also tied the game, 4-4. His goal came with only 12 seconds left. Shots after 60 minutes favored Lone Star, 32-22. This was the third time that a game between these two teams required more than 60 minutes.
Lone Star was 1-4 in overtime and 3-2 in the shootout entering this weekend series. As for Odessa, they were 5-1 in overtime and 1-1 in shootouts. Goalies on both ends continued to make remarkable saves not only during regulation but also in the 3-on-3 overtime. Both teams threw everything they could at the opposition but neither would back down. Resulting in the game being decided via shootout. It marked the second time both teams had to go beyond 65 minutes this season against one another. There was only one goal scored in the shootout and it came on the final shot in the third round. Logan Tobias put the puck right through Proctor’s five-hole to give the Brahmas their 17th win of the season (17-9-4-2). Odessa’s record is now 19-11-1-2.
Amarillo lost to New Mexico last night in regulation giving Odessa sole possession of second place (41pts). The Brahmas enter game two tonight tied with the Wranglers for third place in the South (40pts). All four goals by the Jacks last night were scored by a defenseman. Proctor ended the game with 28 saves and Smith had 18. Odessa went 0/4 on the power play whereas Lone Star went 2/5. Game two is scheduled for tonight at 7:30 pm CDT.