Jacks Maul ‘Cats, Score Late in 5-4 Win



Mar. 10, 2012



Doucet tallies twice in third as Jacks sweep Wichita Falls.


WICHITA FALLS, TX– With two critical points on the line towards a playoff spot, the Odessa Jackalopes delivered for the second straight night, scoring late in the third period to top the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday at Kay Yeager Coliseum. With the win, the Jackalopes improved to 22-25-5 overall this season and with 49 points, remain alone in fifth place in the NAHL’s South Division standings, six points shy of the Corpus Christi IceRays for the South Division’s fourth and final playoff spot with eight games remaining in the Jacks’ regular-season schedule.

For the second consecutive evening, the Jacks and Wildcats entered the second period scoreless, but on Saturday, the middle frame brought goals in spades. The Jacks took a 1-0 lead just 1:52 into the period when Josh Obregon poked a Tyler Cayemberg pass through the legs of Wichita Falls netminder Matt Leon for his team-leading 17th goal of the season. Odessa doubled the lead three minutes later on a solid wrister from Lawrence Cornellier that beat Leon to the glove side.

The Wildcats answered back just two minutes later, when Tucker Poolman snuck a rebound past Jacks goalie Connor Hellebuyck on the backhand to make it 2-1. After Alex Ostrowski extended the Odessa lead at 10:37 of the second period on his second goal in as many nights thanks to a nifty passing play from Brandon Gorges and Tyller Robert, the Jacks entered the second intermission with a 3-1 lead.

Early in the third however, Wichita Falls sprung to life with back-to-back goals from Nick Szopinski at 2:21 and 5:02 to tie the game at three. Resilient as ever, the Jackalopes punched back just 90 seconds later, when Ryan Doucet slipped the first of his two goals on the night past Leon for a power-play tally and a 4-3 Odessa edge. The Jacks maintained that lead deep into the third and after a near line-brawl at 11:39 that resulted in 30 combined penalty minutes and a game ejection for Leon, Wichita Falls winger Zach Pochiro skated through a crowd of defenders and outdueled Hellebuyck to tie the game at four with just over two minutes to play in regulation.

As both teams steadied themselves for overtime, Doucet took matters into his own hands as the 6’4” winger wrangled a Cornellier feed from the far corner 13 seconds after the Pochiro goal and muscled it past Wildcat backup goaltender JoJo Jeanetta to put Odessa on top for good 5-4.

The win was Odessa’s third in a row, tying a season-high and fifth in their past six games. Next up for the Jacks, it’s the final homestand of the season, a three game set that gets underway Thursday at 7:05 pm versus the New Mexico Mustangs at Ector County Coliseum.

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 by visiting the Jacks online at www.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.