Jacks Season Ends with 4-1 Loss to Amarillo



April 10, 2012



Odessa falls in four games to top seeded Bulls, inaugural NAHL campaign concludes.


ODESSA, TX– In what proved to be the final game of the Odessa Jackalopes’ 15th anniversary season and the team’s inaugural campaign in the North American Hockey League, the Jacks fell in game four of their South Division semi-final series with the Amarillo Bulls by a final score of 4-1 on Tuesday, losing the series by a three-games-to-one margin.

In front of nearly 2,000 screaming Jackalopes faithful, Odessa surrendered an early lead when Amarillo’s Mike Davis and Greg Gibson notched back-to-back markers in the first and second periods to lift the top-seeded Bulls to a 2-0 advantage. With time ticking away in their season, the Jacks fought back at 16:22 of the middle frame when Lawrence Cornellier wheeled to the top of the left faceoff circle in his offensive zone and wired a laser-beam of a wrister through traffic and past Amarillo netminder Gregg Greuhl’s outstretched glove hand on a two-man advantage to draw Odessa within a goal.

Amarillo’s response was rapid, however, as just 31 seconds later, with Odessa still up a skater, the Bulls pushed their lead right back to two when Mike Erickson sent a shorthanded snapper past Jackalopes netminder Connor Hellebuyck at 16:53. Despite an unwavering effort in the third period, the Jackalopes were undone by penalties late in the game, as Odessa was charged 30 penalty minutes in the final frame, eventually yielding the only goal of the third, a Ryan Cole insurance marker at 12:44.

In his final game in an Odessa uniform, Hellebuyck stopped 42 of the 46 shots he faced and as the future UMass-Lowell River Hawk departs for Division 1 college hockey, he takes with him single-season Jackalopes franchise records for goals-against average (2.49), save percentage (.930) and Odessa’s all-time single-game saves record (61, accomplished twice—November 5th at Amarillo in a 1-0 loss and in game three of the Jackalopes’ playoff series with the Bulls on Monday, a 4-3 overtime defeat).

Come cheer on the Jacks one final time this season as the team hosts its annual “Regular Season Awards Banquet” Wednesday inside Barn ‘G’ at the Ector County Fairgrounds at 7:00 pm. Join the Jackalopes as the team hands out its annual regular season hardware like the team ‘MVP’ award, the ‘Best Defenseman’ and ‘Rookie of the Year’ trophies, as well as the ‘Sebastien Thinel Trophy’ for Odessa’s leading scorer in the regular season, among many others. Also, bid throughout the ceremony on game worn Jacks jerseys at the final jersey auction of the season. Admission is free for Jackalopes season-ticket holders and just five dollars for everyone else. For more information on the “Regular Season Awards Banquet”, call the Jackalopes front office at 432-332-7825.

To reserve or renew your season tickets for the 2012-13 season, call the Jackalopes’ ticket office at 432-552-7825 during regular business hours (8:30 am to 5:00 pm) Monday through Friday and for more information on ticketing options, tryout information and for the very latest in Jackalopes offseason news, log on to www.jackalopes.org.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.