Last night Odessa took the ice for game two against the top team in the NAHL. Lone Star won their 11th-straight game after beating the Jacks 4-1 on Friday. Friday also marked the first meeting between these two teams this season. This was the final game for both teams as they head into a bye week.
Lone Star jumped all over Odessa in the opening period by producing 13 shots. They also kept the puck in the Jacks zone for most of the period. However, Greg Orosz made save after save and was able to deny the Brahmas of a first-period goal. Odessa had a few scoring chances but only managed to get four shots onto Arthur Smith. He went into last night’s game with a 5-0 record and leading all goalies in goals-against-average (.69) and save percentage (.963%). He also has only allowed three goals on 81 shots. In the final minute of the period, there was a cross-checking minor assessed to John Wojciechowski. It was the first powerplay given to a team all weekend. The horn eventually sounded, sending both teams into their locker rooms tied at zero.
Once again, the Brahmas came out aggressive to start a period. The physical play ramped up as well throughout the middle frame. At 8:38 into the second period, J.R. Perdion was called for tripping and given a two-minute minor. Odessa was once again on the penalty kill and was almost able to successfully kill it, but Ryan Prewitt (1) scored with two seconds left on the man advantage. It was just the seventh time this season Lone Star has scored the first goal of the game and they are 6-0 when doing so. Odessa was not going down without a fight though as three minutes later they would find an equalizer. The tying goal was scored by Brendan Finn (2) and for the second-straight night, both teams were tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of play. Lone Star was outshooting Odessa, 29-14.
The Jacks came out in the third looking to build off their tying goal from the previous period. However, they were only able to get five shots onto Arthur Smith. Just like the first period, the Brahmas put up 13 shots. Some of those shots came while Lone Star had a 5-on-3 powerplay but this time around the Jacks managed to avoid giving up a goal. With less than five minutes to go in regulation, the Brahmas captain, Mason Mara, took a cross-checking penalty, giving Odessa their first powerplay of the weekend. They were unable to score on it and time would expire sending the game into overtime. Lone Star was leading in shots, 42-19. This season, it was the most shots Lone Star has had in a game.
In the 3-on-3 overtime, both teams had breakout plays but were met with strong goaltending. The Jacks added to their shot total by outing up two in the extra period. Whereas the Brahmas only got one on Orosz. With neither team backing down the game extended past 65 minutes and would be decided in a shootout. The Jacks lost four shootout games to Lone Star last season. So far this year the Brahmas were 1-0 in shootouts and Odessa was 0-1.
Both goalies stopped the first two shooters in the shootout. Nate Boak was the third shooter for the Jacks, and he was easily able to beat Smith to put all the pressure on Lone Star. Matt Macdonald was the final shooter for Lone Star and after slowly bringing into the left circle, Orosz stuck out his paddle and denied Macdonald a scoring opportunity. The save sent an eruption of Jackalopes players over the bench as they ran toward the winning goaltender. It marked the first win for Odessa at the NYTEX Sports Center since September 28, 2018. Ending a 22-game losing streak (0-20-0-2). It also snapped the Brahmas 11-game win streak. Greg Orosz also earned the night’s first star after stopping 42 of 43 shots. The most saves of his NAHL career. He had this to say following his fourth win of the season, “It was a great game. I love it when I am getting shots and the boys helped me out with the rebounds. We all talked about how we really wanted to get a win here and so that was the goal for the whole weekend. So, I am happy we could accomplish that.” Head Coach Scott Deur stated this about what it means to pick up a win on the road against Lone Star, “I thought Greg had another excellent game in the net which gave us the chance to win tonight. They are a good team, and I thought these games were as close to playoff games as we have seen all year. But obviously we are really excited to snap that streak.”
The Jacks are off next weekend and will be back in action on Nov. 11-12 when they host the El Paso Rhinos. It will also be Military Appreciation Weekend. To secure your tickets visit www.jackalopes.org or call 432-552-7825.
Photo credit: Danne Braden