Yesterday the Jacks faced the IceRays to close out their second game of 2023. It also marked the fourth of eight meetings between these two teams this season. Odessa is 3-0 after securing a 7-3 win the day before. The Jacks were in search of another sweep against Corpus Christi. While the IceRays were trying to avoid their ninth-straight loss.
Odessa started off the first period aggressively by notching the opening goal within the first two minutes. It came off the stick of Brendan Finn (5). The IceRays though were not backing down and two minutes later they would tie it thanks to Michael Casey (7). As the game progressed past the halfway point, the Jacks would regain the lead after William Marshall dished the puck cross-crease to Emerson Goode (16) for an easy tap-in. Corpus Christi would answer a minute later after Jackson Beach (2) beat Greg Orosz from the slot. For the second-straight night, both teams went into the locker room after the first period tied at 2-2. The Jacks were outshooting the IceRays, 27-10. That marked the most shots in any period for Odessa this season.
It only took 20 seconds into the second period for the Jacks to be back in the driver’s seat. The leading goal came from Ryan Mansfield (14) from between the circles. The chess match continued throughout the second period and eventually resulted in the IceRays tying things up for the third time. This time it was Logan Neilson (3) putting it past Orosz. The Jacks were outshooting the IceRays, 42-22.
The Jacks came out hungry for the final period and managed to take the lead for the fourth time in the contest. The goal was scored by J.R. Perdion (8) as he was left all alone on the near side circle and snapped it past a sprawling Lukas Malant. Odessa grabbed their largest lead of the game after Goode (17) sent a backhanded shot top shelf with under six minutes left in regulation. As time was expiring the IceRays pulled Malant but it only resulted in an empty-net goal for the Jacks. It came off a deflection from Cameron Dunn to mark his first NAHL goal. Odessa picked up the sweep after winning 6-3. They also outshot Corpus Christi, 63-31. Marking their most shots in a game this season. Both teams went 0/1 on the powerplay.
The Jacks now find themselves back at .500 with a 14-14-0-1 (29PTS) record. They will remain on the road and face fifth-place Amarillo next weekend. The Wranglers are currently four points ahead of the Jackalopes in the standings. Both games are scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden