ALLEN, TX– Joel Martin stopped 30 shots and Garrett Gruenke’s second period goal held up for the game-winner as the Odessa Jackalopes topped the Allen Americans by a 3-2 score on Thursday in game one of their Berry Conference Semifinal series at the Allen Event Center. The Jacks take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series with the win.
Gruenke’s goal 2:27 into the second period came from the blue line as Mark Ehl was screening in front of the net. Jean Bourbeau and Mike Lesperance picked up the assists to give Odessa a 3-1 lead on the tally.
The Jackalopes held off a furious rush in the game’s final minutes as Allen’s Dave Bonk made it a one-goal game, scoring with 2:19 left to play after the Americans pulled goaltender Chris Whitley in favor of an extra attacker. Odessa closed the book after that for the game one win.
Odessajumped out to a 2-0 lead late in the opening period as Sebastien Thinel and Mike Ramsay each scored goals just 32 seconds apart. Thinel scored from the front of the net before Ramsay wristed one home from the left circle with 6:11 left in the first period.
Bruce Graham put Allen on the board with an unassisted goal from the left circle with 2:03 left in the opening frame.
Martin’s 30-save performance improved his postseason record to 4-0, while Whitley dropped to 3-1 with 27 saves.
Todd Robinson added an assist on Thinel’s and Ramsay’s goals to extend his point streak to 22 games, going back to the regular season.
After dropping game one of their Opening Round series at Texas, the Jackalopes have rattled off four straight wins. Tonight’s win was just the fourth victory in a game one for the Jacks in sixteen chances.
Game two is scheduled for Sunday at 6:00 PM CST in Allen. The action can be heard on Classic Rock 102.1 FM.
The Odessa Jackalopes are the Central Hockey League affiliate for the NHL’s New York Islanders and the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The team is currently in the middle of its 14th season. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or visiting jackalopes.org.
Follow the Jackalopes all year long on Facebook and Twitter — Twitter.com/ODEJackalopes.