Last night the Jacks went up against the Corpus Christi IceRays for the first time this season. Odessa entered the game on a three-game win streak and in search of their fourth to set a season-high. The IceRays entered the JackShack having picked up at least one point in five-straight games (3-0-2). It was the IceRays first game of the weekend but for Odessa, it was the middle game in their 3-in-3 series.
For the 13th time this season the Jacks scored the first goal of the game. They were 6-5-0-1 when doing so. The goal 3:06 into the opening period was scored by Tanyon Bajzer (10). As the game approached the halfway point of the period, Brendan Finn (3) scored a goal that will go down in Jackalopes history and surely be seen on NAHL Plays of the Week. He was behind the net and picked up the puck and proceeded to carry it around and put it just underneath the crossbar. Resulting in what is known as the “Michigan goal”. Finn had this to say about his jaw-dropping goal, “I went behind the net and grabbed the puck and pretty much blacked out after that.” The 2-0 score would remain when the horn sounded to end the first period. Odessa was outshooting Corpus Christi, 15-6. There were no penalties called in the first period.
In the second period, Corpus Christi came out hungry for their first goal of the game. At one point they were leading in shots, 4-1. The Jacks regained some momentum and put up a total of 12 shots. None though were able to get past Lukas Malant. While the IceRays had a hot start to the second period they finished with only five shots. Greg Orosz was able to stop them all.
The final period saw a plethora of shots from both teams. The game remained 2-0 until the late stages of regulation. The IceRays got a powerplay, but it was the Jackalopes converting on it. Ryan Mansfield (12) got loose for a breakaway and fired it past Malant to put Odessa up 3-0. It was the first short-handed goal of the season for Odessa. The IceRays got their second powerplay of the game with 1:29 remaining in the period. They pulled Malant to make it 6-on-4 but the Jackalopes were able to withstand the pressure from the IceRays. Resulting in a 3-0 victory and their first shutout of the season. It marked the third for Greg Orosz in his NAHL career. The Jacks outshot the IceRays, 38-24. Both teams went 0/2 on the powerplay.
Greg Orosz had this to say following his 24-save shutout, “The guys helped me out when there was a rebound, they would clear it out. It was a great team effort.” Odessa is now on a four-game win streak (season-high) and has a record of 11-12-0-1 (21pts). The IceRays remain in eighth place with a 6-15-4 (16pts) record. Head Coach Scott Deur stated this after his team’s win, “We need to get points but also do our part and good things will happen. Being able to win three out of three would be huge for us going into next weekend against arguably the best team in the league.” The final game of the 3-in-3 series is scheduled for tonight at 7:15 p.m.
Photo by: Danne Braden