Jacks Win First Game of 2023

Last night the Jacks took the ice for the first time in 2023. Odessa entered on a two-game losing streak after being swept by Oklahoma before the holiday break. Corpus Christi went into last night looking for their first win in seven games (0-5-2). It was also the third of eight meetings between these two teams this season. The Jacks lead the season series, 2-0.


Having not played in three weeks, the Jacks were rusty to start out and the IceRays took full advantage of it. They scored the first goal just 28 seconds into the opening period. It came off the stick of Anthony Cafarelli (4). A little over six minutes later and Corpus Christi would make it 2-0 after Logan Neilson (2) found the back of the net. Odessa found their groove 30 seconds later after Emerson Goode (15) was able to cut the lead in half. Two minutes later, Tanyon Bajzer (12) would tie the game after scoring a backdoor goal on Thomas Kiesewetter. The 2-2 score would hold as the horn sounded to end the first period. The Jackalopes were outshooting the IceRays, 15-12.


The Jacks carried their momentum from one period to another as Bajzer (13) gave them their first lead of the game. His goal came 5:11 into the middle frame. The Jacks held onto the lead until there were less than three minutes remaining in the period. Stepan Kuznetsov (10) sent a backhander short side on Greg Orosz to have a tie game once again. Odessa’s grit and determination to regain the lead paid off as they scored not one but two goals in the final minute. Brendan Finn (4) jammed the puck into the back of the net making it 4-3 Odessa. In the final seconds of the period, Marc Fletemeyer (2) scored a buzzer-beater goal to give his squad a two-goal lead heading into the final period. Odessa was outshooting Corpus Christi, 31-30.


The Jacks continued to pressure the IceRays throughout the final period. They were able to increase their lead to 6-3 at 10:41 into the third after Ryan Kelly (7) snapped the puck past Kiesewetter. Corpus Christi was doing everything it could to try and dig itself out of the hole they were in. They even pulled their goalie with under two minutes left in regulation as they had a 6-on-4 advantage. However, the Jacks would convert on it thanks to William Marshall (2). The final horn would sound to give Odessa their first win of 2023. Their seven-goal performance also marks the most this season. The IceRays outshot the Jackalopes, 44-40. Odessa went 0/4 on the powerplay and Corpus Christi went 0/5.


Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say following the win, “We started off really slow but after the first goal it felt like we were back to where we needed to be. After we went up by two it was all about clock management from then on. I don’t think we played the best in the third, but we played smart enough to win.” Game two is scheduled for tonight at 7:05 p.m. CDT.


Photo credit: Danne Braden