On Saturday the Jacks took to the ice for game two against Amarillo. Odessa was coming off their first win in five games and looking for a sweep for the first time since home opening weekend. The next meeting between these two teams is Jan. 13-14 in Amarillo.
It only took Odessa 20 seconds to score the game’s first goal. That is the third-straight game in which the Jacks scored in the opening minute of play. The goal was scored by Tanyon Bajzer (8). Odessa kept applying pressure onto Luca Ganz and it would pay off as they went up 2-0 just over eight minutes into the first period. Their second goal was scored by Ryan Mansfield (10) after he sent a low shot far side on Ganz. The 2-0 score would remain once the horn sounded ending the first period. Odessa was outshooting Amarillo, 9-5.
It took 10:02 into the second period for there to be another goal. Once again it was Mansfield (11) beating Ganz and this now gave the Jacks a 3-0 lead. Their largest lead of the weekend. However, the Wranglers would cut the deficit to two after Tommy Chunchukov (7) went on a breakaway and beat Quentin Sigurdson. Tempers boiled over minutes later which led to a fight between Adam Armijo and Jack McDonald. As well as a plethora of roughing minors to skaters of both teams. With just over three minutes remaining in the period, John Wojciechowski (2) scored a power-play goal to put Odessa up 4-1. The score would hold for the rest of the period sending the Jacks once again into the locker room with the lead. The Jacks were still outshooting the Wranglers, 20-19.
There were only two goals scored in the final period and both came with less than five minutes remaining. The first was scored by Ben Ivey (3) to pull Amarillo within two. With very little time left in regulation, Amarillo pulled Ganz to put on an extra attacker in hopes of making a comeback. The Jacks would convert on it after Bajzer (9) raced for the puck and made a remarkable diving play to send the puck into the back of the net. The 5-2 score would be enough, resulting in a weekend sweep for Odessa. It was Sigurdson’s first win since Oct. 15 against El Paso. He also set a career high in saves with 35. Amarillo outshot Odessa 37-29. The Jacks went 1/3 on the powerplay and the Wranglers went 0/2.
The first line for Odessa scored four of the five goals. The win improves the Jackalopes record to 9-12-0-1 (19pts) and moves them into sixth place. The loss had Amarillo drop to fifth and their record is now 11-9-1-1 (24pts). Assistant Coach Chris Francis had this to say following the sweep, “It is very important, and especially tonight they played the right way for the full 60 minutes. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction for us and the guys get some confidence to keep building on it.” The Jacks now will prepare for their first 3-in-3 of the season. With game one being on Thursday against first-place Lone Star. The final two games will be against the Corpus Christi IceRays. They are the only team the Jacks have yet to play this season. Odessa will be wearing specialty jerseys during the 3-in-3 along with auctioning them off on Saturday. There will also be the annual Teddy Bear Toss on Saturday. All games are scheduled for 7:15 pm CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden