Yesterday the Jacks went up against the Ice Wolves for the second time this weekend. Both teams entered the game tied for second place in the division. The winner of game two would not only gain sole possession of second place but also be one point behind first-place Amarillo. Odessa entered the game on a two-game win streak and was leading the season series 2-1.
New Mexico came out very aggressive in the first period by putting up 16 shots on Alex Proctor. Proctor was able to stop all but one. The leading scorer for the Ice Wolves, Dillan Bentley (13), scored 18:43 into the opening period. The score would remain 1-0 heading into the first intermission. Odessa was able to put up nine shots on Beni Halasz, who was playing in his seventh-straight game.
For the second-straight period, the Ice Wolves put up 16 shots. This time, however, Proctor denied them all. Odessa had their highest shooting period in the second as they recorded 14 shots with one of them reaching the back of the net. Tanyon Bajzer (4) scored 11:27 into the period to tie the game. For the second consecutive night, both teams would start the final period tied. It was also the first time Bajzer has scored on back-to-back nights in his NAHL career.
The Jacks were able to break the tie 3:01 into the final period. Rylan Yates (7) made a spectacular play in front of the net and threw a backhanded shot past Halasz. That goal gave the Jacks their first lead of the game. However, Jake Keller (4) would tie the game at 2-2 after his shot went off a Jackalope and past Proctor. For the second time in the season series, the game would extend past 60 minutes. Shots through three periods favored New Mexico, 41-33.
The overtime started 3-on-3 but did not stay that way for long as J.R. Perdion was called for slashing :31 seconds into the extra period. Odessa was able to successfully kill off Ice Wolves power play resulting in overtime going back to its original format. Both teams looked to utilize the plethora of open ice that was available to them but neither team would convert. Resulting in the game going to a shootout. It was just the second time for both teams this season that the game required more than 65 minutes. Nick Ahern took the first shot for Odessa and sent it right past Halasz. Chris Duclair was the second shooter for the Jacks, but he would be denied by Halasz. Proctor faced three skaters in the shootout and stopped them all. Giving the Jacks a 3-2 win but also a sweep over New Mexico. The win also put Odessa into second place. New Mexico went 0/5 on the power play and Odessa went 0/3. The Ice Wolves outshot the Jackalopes, 47-38.
Alex Proctor made a season-high 45 saves to earn his 14th win of the season. Mike Manzo had this to say about playing in his 100th game, “It was a special feeling, the games go by fast and I try to enjoy every single one by being present in the moment.” Odessa is now on a three-game win streak and has four sweeps this season. “I thought that was a good team effort. Proctor was really solid in net, and we had scoring from some different guys,” said Head Coach Scott Deur regarding his team’s win. They have one final weekend series before heading into the holiday break. Next weekend they host the Corpus Christi IceRays. The Jacks have played them only once this season which is the fewest they have played any South Division team. Both games next weekend are scheduled for 7:15 pm CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden