Jacks Tally First NAHL Win in Home Opener


Faust, Hellebuyck lead way in 5-3 win.


ODESSA, TX– In front of nearly 3,500 screaming fans, the Odessa Jackalopes earned their first NAHL victory 5-3 Friday night over the Corpus Christi IceRays at Ector County Coliseum. Thanks to four first period goals, the Jackalopes took an early lead that they never relinquished, maintaining their advantage on the scoreboard the entire game. With the win, the Jacks improve to 1-3-2 on the season and 1-0-0 at home in 2011-12.

Newly named assistant captain Willie Faust got the scoring started for the Jacks at 7:10 of the first period, tallying his first goal of the season on feeds from Jalen Krogman and Darren Lapic to make it 1-0 Jacks. Odessa center Ryan Atkinson followed suit just 38 seconds later, notching his second of the season for a 2-0 Jackalopes lead. Thanks to additional first period tallies from Tyler Mix and newcomer Chad Hennum, the Jacks entered the second period up 4-1.

After a lone Corpus Christi goal in the second, the scoring picked back up in the third period, as the IceRays drew within a goal at 4-3 thanks to Eric Purcell’s third and fourth goals of the season, but Jacks netminder Connor Hellebuyck shut the door late, stopping 32 of the 35 shots he faced to earn his first win of 2011-12. Willie Faust added an insurance marker at 15:00 of the third period, his second of the game and the season, to seal the deal for the Jacks in a 5-3 win.

The Jacks and IceRays renew their acquaintances Saturday night at Ector County Coliseum as the Jacks close out their first-ever NAHL home-opening weekend with their third straight game against the ‘Rays. The opening faceoff is set for 7:05 pm and the first 1,00 fans through the gates at Ector County Coliseum will receive a complimentary 15th Anniversary hockey puck, and after the game, Jacks players will be available for autographs.

The Odessa Jackalopes celebrate their 15th Anniversary in 2011-12 and drop the puck on their inaugural campaign as a member of the North American Hockey League.  Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or by visiting the Jacks online at www.jackalopes.org.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.