Friday October 4, 2013



Anthony Croston’s goal with 2:41 left in the third deflates the Jacks in home opener.


ODESSA, TX – After almost a month away from home, the Odessa Jackalopes were happy to be back in the friendly confines of the Ector County Coliseum. They brought in a familiar foe and an old CHL rival. The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees are back in existence and are now of member of the NAHL. The two teams looked to renew their old rivalry as 1,520 fans watched from the stands at the Ector County Coliseum.


The Jacks were tentative at the start of the game. Both teams were battling soft ice at the Jack Shack as the temperature is West Texas was at 90 degrees or above all week long. The Jacks made the first mistake of the hockey game by turning the puck over in their own zone. Rio Grande took full advantage. Nathan Flynn scored his first goal of the season at 7:41 from Aleksi Luhtalampi and Nick Szopinski. The Killer Bees enjoyed a 1-0 advantage. The Jacks tied it up late in the first on a great shift by Connor Thie, Austin Murray, and Mathieu Briand. Thie setup Briand for a one-timer in the slot and the Jacks had new life on Briand’s second goal of the season. The two teams battled to a 1-1 tie after one period with Rio Grande Valley outshooting the Jacks, 15-10


The Jacks were unable to build on any momentum from the Briand goal in the second. Rio Grande Valley outshot the Jacks 14-5 in the second and their leading scorer Ben Greiner would tally his fourth goal of the year at 17:45 of the period. The Killer Bees took a 2-1 to the locker room after 40 minutes.


The Jacks would battle back again in the third. Robb Stautz scored his second goal of the season on a powerplay with only 5:34 to go in the game to tie it up at two. Rio Grande Valley didn’t settle for overtime and they took their third lead of the hockey game at 17:19 of the third on a goal by Anthony Croston. Croston picked the top, left corner on Yoshi Kuroiwa to give Rio Grande Valley a lead they would not surrender. The Jacks tried to pull their goalie in an effort to tie, but it was to no avail. The Jacks dropped their home opener to Rio Grande Valley by a score of 3-2.


These same two teams will go back at it tomorrow night at 7:17 from the Ector County Coliseum. Tickets start as low as $8 and are available by calling 552-7825 or visiting http://www.jackalopes.org



In 2013-14, the Odessa Jackalopes will embark upon their third season in the North American Hockey League and 17th in the Permian Basin. Single game tickets are on sale now! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.


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