Jacks Wrap Regular Season with 3-1 Loss



April 1, 2012



Faust returns, Davis stops 21 in loss to RoadRunners.


TOPEKA, KS– In the final game of the 2011-12 NAHL regular season, the Odessa Jackalopes dropped a 3-1 decision Sunday evening to the Topeka RoadRunners at Kansas ExpoCentre in Topeka. With the loss, the Jacks completed their first season of NAHL hockey with a 27-28-5 record and now await a five-game South Division semi-final series with the Amarillo Bulls that begins Friday at 7:05 pm at the Amarillo Civic Center’s Cal Farley Coliseum.

In the second game of a season-ending weekend series with the ‘Runners, Odessa captain Willie Faust and defenseman Curt Rau made their long-awaited returns from injury and Jacks goaltender Justin Davis made his first start since February 11th. Faust, lost for 22 games with a finger injury played in his first game since January 21st and Rau’s return came five games after he was sidelined by an upper-body injury.

On Sunday, Topeka started the scoring at 16:53 of the first period when Sean Gaffney redirected a Trace Strahle shot past Davis’ outstretched left pad to stake the RoadRunners to a 1-0 lead. Topeka doubled their advantage early in the second period when a Jake Lynes wrister ricocheted over Davis at 2:36. It took until the final minute of regulation for the Jacks to get on the board, but with just under 30 seconds remaining in the game, with the extra-attacker on, Taylor Portner tipped a Mikko Virtanen shot through traffic and past Topeka netminder Peter Traber to cut the RoadRunner lead to one before Brian Christi sealed a Topeka win with an empty-netter at 19:56.

With the regular-season complete, the Jackalopes now turn their attention to the league-best Bulls. The first two games of the Jacks’ first-round playoff series get underway Friday and Saturday, April 6th and 7th in Amarillo with game three to follow from Odessa’s Ector County Coliseum on Monday, April 9th and games four and five, if necessary, are scheduled for Tuesday April 10th in Odessa and Monday April 16th in Amarillo, respectively.

To reserve playoff tickets, Jackalopes fans are invited to call the Jackalopes’ ticket office at 432-552-7825 during regular business hours (8:30 am to 5:00 pm) Monday through Friday. Playoffs tickets are also available online at www.jackalopes.org.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.