Last night the Jacks were at the Ector County Coliseum for the first time this season. Their opponent for the weekend is the El Paso Rhinos, who went into the game with a 5-3 record. Odessa entered with a 2-5-0-1 record and were tied for seventh in the division. These two teams have not seen one another since New Year’s Eve last year and the Jacks would go on to win 8-2. The Jacks won the season series against the Rhinos last year, 5-3.


The Rhinos came out clicking and kept the puck in the Jacks zone for the majority of the first period. Which would eventually result in them scoring the first goal of the game. It came 12:25 into the period and was scored by Mark LaFrance (1). El Paso came into last night’s game with a 3-0 record when scoring the first goal. The Jacks had their scoring chances but were unable to beat Hunter Garvey. The first period ended with Odessa trailing El Paso, 1-0. The Rhinos were outshooting the Jacks, 12-6.


Odessa utilized the intermission to their advantage and were able to flip the script in the middle period. Justin Hughes (1) carried the puck into the attacking zone during an odd man rush and was able to get the puck past Garvey. Marking his first goal since February 12th of last season. Less than three minutes later, Emerson Goode (5) sent a quick wrist shot from the high slot and into the back of the net. Putting him on a three-game goal streak which tied his career high from last season. It also gave Odessa their first lead of the game and they would not stop there. Adam Armijo (2) made it three-unanswered goals for Odessa with just over six minutes remaining in the period. The strong showing in the middle period for Odessa had them go into the second period intermission up 3-1. The shots were tied at 23 apiece.


In the final period, El Paso was able to pull within one of Odessa after AJ Reed (2) scored on a rebound. It would remain a 3-2 game until J.R. Perdion (3) scored to make it 4-2 Odessa with under three minutes remaining in regulation. The Rhinos never pulled Garvey and were unable to erase the deficit. Giving Odessa their first home opening win since November 6, 2020, against the Amarillo Bulls (3-2). Also, it was the second win in a row for Odessa and their net-minder Greg Orosz. Shots finished 36-36 and neither team converted on their powerplays (Odessa 0/3 and El Paso 0/1).


Head Coach Scott Deur had this to say about playing on home ice for the first time this season, “I think we had a good fan support so doing it in front of that group helps us down the road. Even with a big football game in town we were still able to draw a big crowd and glad we could pull that win off in front of our fans.” The Jacks will be auctioning off their Breast Cancer Awareness jerseys after the game tonight with proceeds going to benefit Pink the Basin. Puck drop for game two is slated for 7:15pm CDT.