ODESSA, TX — Fresh off the bye week, the Odessa Jackalopes (7-9-1-1) broke out the offense as six different scorers lit the lamp en route to Odessa’s 6-1 thumping of the Corpus Christi IceRays (9-9-2-3). Half of Odessa’s goals came from recent additions to the roster.
The Jackalopes opened the scoring early in the first period as Jake Vaughn took a shot from the right half-boards that beat Corpus Christi netminder Jeremy Forman low to the stick-side.
This was followed up later in the period by Nick Grimaldi’s goal that he scored on a two-on-one with Kam Ottenbreit. Grimaldi, making his Jackalopes debut, scored low to the glove side on Forman to extend the Jackalopes lead to 2-0.
Odessa tacked on one more in the first period on the power play as Jan Blasko scored his fourth of the year off a goal-mouth scramble.
After the IceRays pulled Forman in favor of Cal Sandquist to start the second, Corpus Christi scored off a screened point shot that found it’s way into the back of the net. The IceRays also felt they scored in the closing seconds of the second period, but no goal indication came from either the referee or the goal-judge. After a lengthy discussion after the period had ended, the Jackalopes maintained their 3-1 lead.
In the third period the offense opened up again for the Jackalopes.
Jack Rudin, another recent acquisition and former IceRay, took the puck at the Corpus line and sped in right in on Sandquist. Rudin blew a hard wrist-shot past the netminder to score his first of the season and first as a Jackalope.
With the lead extended to 4-1, the Jacks brought more pressure. Isaiah Huempfner was the recipient of a nifty pass from below the goal-line and roofed his shot into the top-shelf to record his first of the season. His goal not only made it 5-1 but marked a new offensive high for the Jacks this season. But again, the Jackalopes were not done.
In the final minutes of regulation, Hunter Brackett, who came to the Jackalopes in mid-October, made a great individual play behind the net. Bracket deflected the puck off the glass and caught it on the deflection with his glove, sending the puck back to the ice. Brackett skated up from behind the net and took a shot that slid into the crease and between the legs of Sandquist.
For Brackett that marks his first goal as a Jack and first point since October 19.
Of the three new Jackalopes that made their debut on Friday, two of them found the back of the net and all three got on the scoresheet (Max Klanow had one assist). Goaltender Aaron Randazzo made 25 saves in the victory. It is a good start for the Jackalopes as they embark on this three-game series with the IceRays, game two will be on Saturday at the Ector County Coliseum. Face-off is set for 7:15 pm.