Jacks Storm Back, Top Tornado in Shootout

Nov. 25, 2011



Atkinson ties it late, Krogman wins seals it in shootout, 2-1.


ODESSA, TX– After falling behind with less than ten minutes to play in the game, the Odessa Jackalopes fought back with a frantic rally in the final minutes on Friday to force overtime and then a shootout with the Texas Tornado for the second consecutive game. Unlike Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout loss however, this time the Jacks managed to come through 2-1 shootout winners over the Tornado in the first of a pair of weekend games at Ector County Coliseum. With the victory, the Jackalopes improved to 8-11-3 on the season and with 19 points, now sit alone in fifth place in the NAHL’s South Division standings, one point shy of the Corpus Christi IceRays for fourth place.

After nearly 50 minutes of scoreless hockey, Texas winger CJ Reuschlein broke the scoreless deadlock with his seventh goal and fifteenth point of the season, an even-strength marker at 10:17 of the third that gave the Tornado a 1-0 lead. Their work cut out for them, Odessa hung tough, grinding their way down to the 17:00 mark of the third before Ryan Atkinson knocked a loose puck behind Tornado goaltender Reid Mimmack in transition to tie the game at one thanks to assists from Alex Ostrowski and Sheldon Taylor.

After a scoreless final three minutes of regulation, the Jacks and Tornado battled through a fruitless overtime session and headed to a shootout where the Jacks reversed their Wednesday night fortunes, getting goals from Willie Faust and Jalen Krogman in the second and fourth rounds of the decisive affair respectively, to come out on top by a 2-1 final score.

Jackalopes netminder Connor Hellebuyck was in rare form on Friday, as he stopped 48 of the 49 shots he faced in regulation and stopped four of five Tornado players in the shootout to improve his record to 7-8-3 in 18 starts this season. For the Jacks, it’s their first win since November 12 when they defeated the New Mexico Mustangs 5-3.

Next up for Odessa, it’s the finale of a three-game home-and-home series with Texas, Saturday night at 7:05 at Ector County Coliseum. Entering the series’ rubber match, each team is 1-0-1 through two games of the seven-game season series.

The Odessa Jackalopes celebrate their 15th Anniversary in 2011-12 and drop the puck on their inaugural campaign as a member of the North American Hockey League.  Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or by visiting the Jacks online at www.jackalopes.org.

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