On Saturday the Jacks took the ice for game two against the El Paso Rhinos. Odessa was on a four-game win streak after winning the previous night, 5-2. The Rhinos were on a five-game losing streak. With the victory from game one, it set up a chance for the Jacks to pick up their second sweep of the season.
The Jacks came out aggressive in the opening period gaining a lot of time on attack. However, Lassi Lehti stood tall on all 16 shots Odessa threw at him through the first 20 minutes. Alex Proctor was once again between the pipes for the Jacks. By the time the first period was over, Proctor had seen seven shots and denied them all. Making it a stalemate at 0-0 as both teams headed into the first period intermission.
In the middle period it was once again dominated by the Jacks. While they certainly were moving the puck exceptionally well, Lehti always seemed to have an answer for them. Odessa put up 17 shots during the middle period. While most of the play was in the Rhinos zone throughout the second period, El Paso did manage to record eight shots. For the second-straight period both teams left the ice without finding the back of the net.
The final period of regulation is when the scoreless game would finally be broken. About four minutes into the third, Justin Hughes (3) found the back of the net to score his second of the weekend. It was not until shortly after the halfway point when El Paso would tie the game. Matt Johnson (2) was the one to end Proctor’s hopes of his second shutout of the season. With a tied game in the final minutes of regulation, Emerson Goode was given a hooking minor. Graham Harris (3) scored :36 seconds into the powerplay. Erupting the “home of the seventh man” as El Paso had a 2-1 lead with two minutes remaining. Scott Deur pulled Proctor to put out the extra attacker and it would pay off. Ryan Kelly (2) scored with 1:14 left to go in regulation. It was the first time this season Odessa scored while their goalie was pulled. Once again, the Jacks finished with 17 shots on Lehti. El Paso had their highest shooting period with nine. For the second time this season Odessa would need extra hockey to decide a winner. It was the first time El Paso had to go beyond regulation.
The last time the Jacks were in overtime they only needed :15 seconds. Last night’s overtime required only a little bit more. Dayne Hoyord and Liam O’hare rushed down the ice on a 2-on-1 with Hoyord sending a lead pass to O’hare. His shot was saved by Lehti but Hoyord followed up the rebound and elevated the puck to the top shelf. After some discussion the officials ruled it a good goal. Hoyord’s overtime winner came :32 seconds into the 3v3 and it marked his sixth of the season. Tying Chris Duclair for the team lead in goals. It was also the fourth-straight game in which Hoyord scored a goal. Odessa outshot El Paso, 53-24. It was the most shots Odessa has recorded in a game this season.
With the win the Jacks improved to 8-3 on the season and remain in first place. Proctor once again had a 22 save night improving his record to 7-1. Proctor had this to say about what the win meant for him and the Jacks going forward, “It’s huge, I don’t know if I have ever been on this long of a win streak in my junior hockey career. I have to give credit to the boys though they work hard every day.” When asked about the current win streak Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say, “I feel pretty good about it. The boys played hard for a full 60. There were chances on both sides of the ice making for an exciting third period. We are pretty fortunate to come out of here with two wins.” This weekend the Jacks will travel to New Mexico to face the fourth place Ice Wolves (6-2). Puck drop for Friday’s game is set for 7:30pm MDT.