Yesterday the Jacks faced the Brahmas for the middle game of their 3-in-3 series. Lone Star took game one by a score of 5-1. Improving their record to 35-12-2-5 (77pts) heading into last night’s contest. As for Odessa, the loss kept them at 55 points going into the game and their record sat at 26-25-1-2. The season series was now tied at 3-3 with only two games remaining. Lone Star went into yesterday’s game riding a four-game win streak.
Both teams started the opening period with a lot of energy which led to multiple scoring chances. However, Arthur Smith and Greg Orosz were able to deny every shot thrown their way. Both teams only managed to put up single-digit shots in the first period, but Lone Star was leading in that category, 8-7.
Once again, the second period saw both teams not reach double-digit shots, however, the scoreless game would finally be broken. Just before the halfway point of the period. Emerson Goode had a breakaway that was negated because he was taken down from behind. Leading to a penalty shot. Goode slowly worked his way to the slot and was able to deke out Smith and put it underneath his leg pads. With the goal, Goode now has 28 on the season and it also put Odessa up 1-0. After 40 minutes of play, Odessa was in the lead but was being outshot, 17-14.
In the third period, Lone Star ramped up their level of play and put up a total of 13 shots in the period. Their pressure eventually paid off with just under six minutes remaining in regulation. Jacob MacDonald took a shot from the point that was deflected by Johan Rosenquist (13) and bounced past Orosz. Even with a tied hockey game, Odessa was playing to win it in regulation, and they did just that. With one final rush up the ice, J.R. Perdion took a shot at Smith that was stopped but the rebound came back out and was jabbed in by Josh Austin (3). The Jacks were back in the lead with only nine and a half seconds remaining in the final period. Lone Star pulled Smith after the puck was dropped at center ice, but it would not matter as the final horn sounded giving the Jacks a 2-1 win. Lone Star finished with 30 shots and Odessa has 22. The Jacks went 0/4 on the powerplay and the Brahmas went 0/5. It was the first time Arthur Smith lost in regulation since Feb. 11 vs. Amarillo.
That is now the 22nd win of the season for Orosz which put him second in franchise history for wins in a season. Only four behind Connor Hellebuyck. Orosz had this to say after the win, “It feels pretty awesome, especially to do it against Lone Star because they are such a good team. Today I think we bounced back, and it was a huge win for us.” With the win, Odessa remains in the playoff hunt for the final spot in the South Division. They are only six points back of New Mexico and Amarillo, who are tied at 63 points. Head Coach Scott Deur stated this regarding the playoff race, “At the end of the day all I ask out of them is to play hard and compete for a full 60 minutes. They have to make sure that they are staying focused because obviously we still have a chance at playoffs.” The final game between Lone Star and Odessa will commence tonight at 7:15 p.m. CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden