On Saturday, Odessa faced the El Paso Rhinos for the final time this season. The Jacks went into the game leading the season series with a 4-2-0-1 record. However, the Rhinos have won the previous two meetings.
The opening period saw Odessa outshoot El Paso, 17-10, but they were unable to beat Nolan Suggs on any of their chances. The Rhinos also could not find an answer for Greg Orosz. Resulting in a scoreless game heading into the first intermission. It was the third-straight game that Odessa did not score a goal in the first period.
Odessa was able to get on the scoresheet first after Josh Austin (2) fired home a rebound just 24 seconds into the middle frame. It was the first time Odessa had a lead all weekend. The Rhinos did not back down though and were able to tie the game about five minutes later. The tying goal was scored by Tory Lund (5). The middle period ended with the score locked at 1-1 and the Jacks were leading in shots, 27-19.
In the final period, both teams produced 12 shots but only El Paso was able to find the back of the net. They took the lead for the first time in the game after AJ Reed (8) scored almost five minutes into the final period. The Rhinos went up by two after Jussi Malmi (1) recorded an empty-net goal. Resulting in a 3-1 win for El Paso. The Jacks outshot the Rhinos, 39-31. Odessa went 0/4 on the powerplay and El Paso went 0/3.
The loss put Odessa on a three-game losing streak. That was just the third sweep of the season for El Paso and their first-ever against Odessa. As for the Jacks, it was the sixth time they were swept this season. Odessa returns home to kick off a seven-game homestand that will start against eighth-place, Corpus Christi. Odessa is now ten points out of a playoff spot with only 11 games remaining. All home games for Odessa are scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden