On Saturday the Jacks took the ice for their second game of the weekend against Shreveport. Odessa won game one in a shootout, 2-1. Also, Greg Orosz made a career-high in saves with 44. It also marked the third-straight loss for the Mudbugs.
In the opening period, the Jacks came out aggressive but were only able to put up six shots on Tommy Aitken. The Mudbugs also flexed their muscle throughout the opening period, but they too could not get any of their nine shots past Orosz. Just like game one both teams went into the first-period intermission tied, 0-0.
The middle period is when the score would finally be broken. The goal was scored by Niklas Miller (6) at the 13:09 mark of the second period. Shreveport kept trying to build on their lead, but the Jackalopes’ defense and strong goaltending kept it a 1-0 game after 40 minutes of play. For the second-straight period, Odessa was only able to put up six shots. Whereas Shreveport tallied 16 in the second.
Odessa was not going down without a fight though. They were able to tie the game 3:42 into the third period. The goal was scored by Michael Kadlecik after he deflected a shot from Tanyon Bajzer. Kadlecik had this to say about scoring his first NAHL goal, “I went to the front of the net and Bajzer just played it towards me, and it took a lucky bounce off my leg and into the back of the net. It was a great feeling.” The 1-1 game would remain until there was less than a minute to go in regulation. Ryan Kelly (9) got a pass from Ryan Mansfield and was able to convert on a wrap-around opportunity. Giving Odessa their first lead of the game, 2-1. The Mudbugs would pull Aitken but were not able to tie the game. Resulting in a win for Odessa and a weekend sweep over Shreveport. The Mudbugs finished with 36 shots and the Jackalopes had 23. Odessa went 0/1 on the powerplay and Shreveport went 0/2.
It was just the third time this season that Shreveport was swept on home ice. It was only the second Odessa has swept an opponent on the road this season. Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say about the win and playing teams that are currently in a playoff spot, “It feels good. Anytime you can go on the road and get four points is a good thing. We made it interesting on ourselves, but we were able to get it done.” The Jacks will be home this weekend for the first time in 2023 as they take on third-place New Mexico. The Jacks have not seen the Ice Wolves since the end of September and New Mexico won both games by a score of 5-2. Puck drop for both games this weekend is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden