Jacks Win a Thriller Over New Mexico, 5-4

The Jackalopes were finally back on home ice as they faced the New Mexico Ice Wolves last night. Odessa came into the game eight points out of a playoff spot. As for New Mexico, they were tied with Shreveport for third place at 57 points. The Jacks went into the game yesterday riding a five-game point streak (4-0-0-1).


The Jacks started out the opening period putting a lot of pressure on Carsen Stokes. It would pay off as Trevor Mitchell (2) jammed the puck into the back of the net from the top of the crease. New Mexico continued to battle throughout the opening period and eventually was able to tie it. They created a turnover in Odessa’s zone which resulted in Yusaku Ando (12) getting the first of the night for New Mexico. Both teams kept peppering the opposing goalies with shots, but the score would remain tied, 1-1, when the horn sounded to end the opening period. Odessa outshot New Mexico, 19-16.


New Mexico mainly controlled the first few minutes of the second period, but they could not beat Quentin Sigurdson on any of their chances. Odessa then took control of the game by regaining the lead after William Marshall (6) deflected a shot that came from Jack Christen at the point. Less than three minutes later, Jackson Hay (3) walked into the right circle and sent the puck up and over the right shoulder of Stokes to make it a 3-1 lead for the Jacks. The Ice Wolves would pull within one after Dillon Kuntz (3) beat Sigurdson with under seven minutes remaining in the period. Odessa would hold onto the 3-2 lead when the horn sounded ending the middle frame. Shots were even at 28 apiece through the 40-minute span.


Early into the final period, the Ice Wolves would tie the game again as Ando (13) went in on a breakaway and found the back of the net. Odessa amplified their attack and was feeding off the hometown crowd. This led to them taking the lead for the third time in the contest. The goal was scored by Christen (3) from the left point. With only a few minutes left to go in the final period, Odessa was able to go up by a pair. It came off the stick from Ryan Mansfield (16) from the right circle after some fantastic puck moving. With time expiring, the Ice Wolves were not going down without a fight and their tenacity would result in a goal with only 1:21 left in the period. Their fourth of the night came from Tony Leahy (9) from the high slot. New Mexico pulled Stokes shortly after in hopes of tying the game. However, Odessa was able to fend them off and skate away with a 5-4 win. They outshot New Mexico, 44-37. The Ice Wolves went 0/1 on the powerplay and the Jacks went 0/3.


The Jacks have now scored the first goal of the game 27 times this season (17-7-1-2) which puts them in a tie for the third most in the league. Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say after the win, “I thought Sigurdson was solid and gave us the chance to win. Putting up over 40 shots certainly helps and I thought the boys played a better brand of hockey for pretty much the whole game.” The Jacks will now look to replicate their success for game two tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CDT.


Photo credit: Danne Braden