Yesterday Odessa faced New Mexico for the sixth time this season. The Jacks were 4-1 against the Ice Wolves going into game two. The Jacks had a tremendous comeback the night before as they scored five goals in the third in route to a 7-5 win. They went into their 54th game of the season with a record of 27-21-1-4 (59PTS). New Mexico had a record of 34-15-1-3 (72PTS). Odessa was in fifth place yesterday and still trying to chase down Shreveport for the final playoff spot. Whereas the Ice Wolves were one win away from clinching their first playoff berth in franchise history.
Odessa started the first period with a lot of energy as they pressured Carsen Stokes from all angles. They put up 11 shots through the first 20 minutes of play. As for New Mexico, they managed to get eight shots onto Alex Proctor. Both goalies denied every single shot resulting in a scoreless game going into the first intermission.
The scoreless game was broken with under five minutes remaining in period two. The goal was scored by Tony Leahy (7) as he stuffed the puck past the right skate of Proctor. Both teams had powerplay opportunities in the period but neither would be able to convert on them. Leahy’s goal would stand as the only one through the first 40 minutes. Odessa was leading in shots, 19-18.
The chess match continued in the final period as both teams would put up eight shots. Leahy (8) made it a 2-0 game with under two minutes remaining in regulation. The Jacks pulled Proctor to try and get on the board but were unsuccessful. Resulting in a 2-0 win for New Mexico. The Jacks outshot the Ice Wolves 27-26. Odessa went 0/6 on the powerplay and New Mexico went 0/2.
It was the first time all season that the Jacks were shut out. Marking the second-longest streak in franchise history. Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say following the 2-0 loss, “I thought we definitely had our opportunities, and I thought the goalie had a little bit of puck luck which you run into sometimes.” It was the eighth shutout of the season for New Mexico, but it was Stokes first in the NAHL. The win also snapped the Ice Wolves’ three-game losing streak. The loss ended Odessa’s two-game win streak. The Jacks will face fourth-place Shreveport next weekend for the final two home games of the season. Odessa must win both games to keep their playoff hopes alive. There will also be a live jersey auction after the game on Saturday.
Photo credit: Danne Braden