Yesterday Odessa faced El Paso to finish out the weekend series. Odessa won game one by a score of 4-2. It was the first home opener win for Odessa since Nov. 6, 2020, against the Amarillo Bulls. It was also the third-straight start for Greg Orosz and his second win in a Jacks jersey. Both teams decided to go with new goalies for game two. In net for the Rhinos was Nolan Suggs and for the Jacks it was Quentin Sigurdson. Marking the first start for Sigurdson since Sept. 23rd against New Mexico. He entered his fourth NAHL game with a 1-1-0-1 record with his lone win coming from the Jacks first game of the season.
Odessa picked up where they left off the night before as they put pressure on the Rhinos from the moment the puck was dropped. While Suggs had a bend not break mentality, the Jacks would be too much for him and the scoreless game broke with under five minutes left in the period. The first goal came from Tanyon Bajzer (3) after he miraculously found the puck between the circles and took a wrist shot that soared right into the back of the net. Less than three minutes later, Emerson Goode (6) would beat Suggs resulting in a 2-0 lead for Odessa. It also marked the fourth-straight game with a goal for Goode, setting a career high. This is what he had to say about his current goal streak, “It feels incredible especially because I did not even know this was happening.” The Jacks would take their 2-0 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes of play. They were also outshooting El Paso, 12-8.
The second period saw a goal, a fight, and many post whistle altercations. The goal was scored by Kolby Amici (2) as he ended Sigurdson’s hopes at a shutout and cut the Jacks lead in half. Three minutes after he scored, Amici dropped the gloves and fought William Marshall. The rest of the penalties throughout the period resulted in a lot of double minors for roughing and 10-minute misconducts for continuing the altercation. Eventually the second period would end, and the score favored Odessa, 2-1. They were still outshooting El Paso, 24-17.
The fighting did not stop in the middle period. Just 63 seconds into it, Michael Kadlecik dropped the gloves and fought Donovan O’Neil. Neither team registered double digit shots in the final period. With the score still reading 2-1 late into the period, the Rhinos pulled Suggs in hopes of tying the game. Instead, they would give up an empty-net goal to Ryan Mansfield (4). The Jacks went on to win the game 3-1. Making it the first time the Jacks have swept an opponent on home opening weekend since Oct. 9-10, 2015, versus Topeka. The Jacks outshot the Rhinos 32-26. Once again neither team recorded a power-play goal as Odessa went 0/4 and El Paso went 0/2.
Odessa is now on a three-game win streak and have a 4-5-0-1 record. Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say on the importance of picking up four points this weekend, “We did what we wanted to on home opening weekend and starting tomorrow we will focus on Amarillo. But we just have to enjoy the win right now.” The Jacks will be on the road next weekend to take on the Amarillo Wranglers. Puck drop both nights is scheduled for 7:15pm CDT.