AMARILLO, TX — It was arguably the most thrilling game of the season for the Jackalopes. Goals were plenty and the intensity was high as the Jacks (7-12-1-1) fell 6-5 to the Amarillo Bulls (14-4-1-2) at the Budweiser Bull Pen on Friday night.
After the Bulls opened the scoring in the first period, the Jackalopes answered with two goals coming off odd-man rushes. The first one was after Matt Clark came down the ice with Ben Thomas. Thomas fed a pass over to Clark who deposited the puck into the top shelf to tie the game 1-1. Odessa then took the lead 2-1 after another two-on-one play. Kam Ottenbreit sent a pass from left-to-right over to Nick Grimaldi who redirected the puck into the net.
A power-play goal by the Bulls tied the game 2-2 going into the first intermission. Jackalopes netminder Aaron Randazzo made 23 saves in the first period alone.
In the second period, the Jackalopes again took the lead after Isaiah Huempfner scored his second goal of the season. But the Bulls rattled off two straight within the span of a few minutes to nullify the lead and take one of their own. Trailing Amarillo 4-3, the Jackalopes answered just over 20 seconds later.
Connor Scahill took a pass to the right-side point and sent a hard wrist-shot that found it’s way through several bodies in front and in past Amarillo goaltender Max Gutjahr. Scahill’s third of the season tied the game 4-4.
Again, Amarillo extended their lead, but again the Jackalopes answered off of Jan Blasko’s power-play goal to even the score 5-5.
The decisive goal came with 52 seconds left in the second period as Nick Stapleton capitalized on a rebound to put the Bulls ahead 6-5.
Going into the third period the Jackalopes had some good chances and benefited from two power-plays. However they were unable to find goal number six and fell to the Bulls in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
Despite the loss, the offense produced another good game of three goals or more (the third time they have accomplished this feat in four games). In addition Aaron Randazzo made a season high 48 saves on 54 shots against. The Jackalopes continue to make strides here this season, and the progress is evident on the ice.
The Jackalopes will attempt to force a weekend split on Saturday night in Amarillo, face-off is set for 7:05 pm.