SHREVEPORT, LA — The Odessa Jackalopes played well enough to win, unfortunately Maiszon Balboa continued to haunt the Jacks as he made several big saves late to hold off Odessa and force a weekend split after a 2-1 Shreveport win on Saturday night at the Hirsch Coliseum.
The Mudbugs got on the board first with a quick goal off the face-off in the right side of the net. It was the first lead the Bugs had all weekend and they did not let up.
In the second period they extended their lead 2-0 after a great individual effort by Jack Jaunich.
Momentum started to shift toward the Jackalopes however as Jan Blasko picked up his second goal in as many nights. Blasko received a pass in the low slot that was in his feet. Stopping the pass with his skate, he kicked the puck up to his stick and quickly deposited the puck into a wide-open net to put Odessa on the board 2-1.
The Jacks came on hard in the third period and had several great chances to tie the game. None better then a two-on-one with Carl Skarstrom and Oscar Tyskhagen. Skarstom sent a nifty pass over to Tyskhagen who deflected it toward the goal. Balboa made a magnificent save to keep the Jacks from tying the game.
That save was just one of many toward the end of the game that preserved the 2-1 lead and the victory for Shreveport.
With the loss the Jackalopes fall to 17-24-1-1 on the year. Despite the setback Odessa is still in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the NAHL South. They will have a chance to make up some ground when they travel to Corpus Christi next weekend for a series with the IceRays.