Last night the Jacks took the ice for their last regular-season matchup against Wichita Falls. The Warriors won game one by a score of 7-2. The win put them on a five-game point streak (4-0-0-1). The Jacks went into the game yesterday knowing they needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Odessa was 3-4 against Wichita Falls going into last night’s game.
The Jacks and Warriors started the first half of the opening period scoreless. It was not until the 12:12 mark of the first period that a goal was registered. The first goal was scored by Cade Lemmer (19). However, the Jacks would tie it up 1:20 later. The tying goal came while on the powerplay from Frank Dovorany (5). The 1-1 game would stay that way for the remainder of the first period. The Warriors went into the locker room outshooting the Jacks, 10-8.
Wichita Falls came out to start the second period with a burst of energy. They were able to regain the lead just 2:45 into the middle frame. The goal was scored by Carter Korpi (11). While the Jacks found themselves trailing once again, they would not let it deter them for long. With almost nine minutes gone in the period, the Jacks were back on the powerplay and back on the scoresheet. Their second goal of the night was scored by J.R. Perdion (16). Later in the period, Trevor Taulien (8) hopped out of the penalty box and went on a breakaway. He was easily able to beat Brandon Milberg, giving Odessa their first lead of the weekend. All three wins the Jacks have over Wichita Falls this season have come when the Jacks scored at least three goals. Within the final minute of the second period, there was a fight as well as a goal. The goal was scored by Ryan Mansfield (12), making it 4-2 Odessa. The fight occurred with seven seconds left and it was between Cole Teleki and Ryan Kusler. The Warriors were leading in shots through 40 minutes of play, 26-18.
There was a combined 123 penalty minutes in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Odessa extended their lead to 5-2 after Tanyon Bajzer (12) scored 6:21 into the period while on the powerplay. It was the third power-play goal of the game for Odessa (season-high). It was the first time that the Warriors allowed five goals in a game since their 5-1 loss to Odessa on Jan. 28th. As the game approached the halfway point of the final period, Cade Lemmer was assessed a charging minor after running over Alex Proctor in his crease. Trevor Taulien stepped up to defend his goaltender and fought Lemmer. Both Taulien and Lemmer would not return to the game. Roughly over a minute later and this time, it was Hunter Jones taking down Proctor was a slash to the back of his leg. This led Owen Baumgartner and John Wojciechowski to drop the gloves at center ice. Those two would also not return for the duration of the game. Jones was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for his penalty on Proctor. In the final minutes of regulation, the Warriors pulled Milberg in hopes of trying to mount a comeback. Instead, J.R. Perdion had other ideas as he scored the sixth goal of the night for Odessa via an empty net. The last time the Jacks scored six goals was back on Feb. 10th when they beat Corpus Christi, 6-3. The horn eventually sounded giving the Jacks a 6-2 win over third-place Wichita Falls. The Warriors outshot Odessa, 35-28. Odessa went 3/10 on the powerplay and Wichita Falls went 1/6.
The loss ended Milberg’s nine-game win streak, and it was his first regulation loss since Jan. 15th. With a 33 save night Proctor secured his 19th win of the season. Marking the second-most wins in a single season by a goaltender in Jackalopes history. He now only trails Connor Hellebuyck, who had 26 wins in 2011-12. Proctor had this to say about what the accomplishment means to him, “It is an exciting feeling, and a cool personal achievement, but the team has really gotten me to where I am today so I cannot thank them enough.” Odessa now has a record of 26-21-1-4 (57PTS). They will host the first-place New Mexico Ice Wolves next weekend. Both games are scheduled for 7:15 pm CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden