Mudbugs defeat Jackalopes 5-3 to force split

ODESSA, TX— For a little while the Jackalopes thought they had a weekend sweep in their sights, up 2-0 in the first period. But the Shreveport Mudbugs had other ideas.

The defending Robertson Cup Champions defeated the Jacks 5-3 at the Ector County Coliseum.

Odessa struck first in the middle stages of the opening period. On the power play Vaclav Zidek deflected a high shot by James Crossman into the net. Though the Mudbugs protested the goal stood and the Jackalopes got off to a 1-0 lead. This was quickly followed up by Connor Smith’s first goal of the season that made it 2-0 Jackalopes.

Then the Mudbugs stormed back. They tied things up 2-2 in the late stages of the period, though the Jacks would also answer.

Off an offensive-zone face-off, a shot from the point missed the net but deflected off the boards to the stick of Matt Minerva. Minerva took a stride and stuffed on in short side to put the Jackalopes back on top 3-2.

Odessa took that lead into the locker room heading into the second period, though the Mudbugs were far from finished.

Shreveport rattled off two goals, both within a minute of each other, to take their first lead of the hockey game and the weekend 4-3.

The Jacks were able to kill of a slew of penalties in the closing stages of the second to set up a dramatic third period comeback.

Despite out-shooting Shreveport 11-4 in the final period, it was Shreveport that found the back of the net at the 11:56 mark of the third period. Thus, diminishing any hope for a comeback and a home sweep for Odessa.

The Jackalopes fall to 4-8-1 on the season after the loss. They will have another week off before they welcome the Topeka Pilots for a three-game set at the Ector County Coliseum.