Odessa Outdueled in Wild Affair, 7-2



Jan. 29, 2012



Amarillo remains unbeaten against Jacks this season.


AMARILLO, TX– In the eighth of nine meetings between the two teams this season, the Odessa Jackalopes fell victim once again to the NAHL’s top team in a 7-2 loss to the Amarillo Bulls at Amarillo Civic Center on Sunday night. With the loss, the Jacks fell to 15-21-5 on the season and with 35 points, remain alone in fifth place in the NAHL’s South Division standings, eight points back of the Corpus Christi IceRays for the fourth and final South Division playoff spot.

In the capper of their third consecutive three-game weekend, the Jacks surrendered an early lead less than four minutes into the game when Bulls captain Joe Kozlak tallied the first of his three goals in the game, a power-play marker assisted by John Rey and Matt Johnson. Kozlak struck again at 15:43 of the first when he buried an Odessa turnover in the Jacks’ defensive zone to stake Amarillo to a 2-0 lead.

After Tyler Poulsen swatted a 50/50 puck past Bulls netminder Mike Taffe late in the first, his third goal in three games, to pull the Jacks within a goal, Amarillo rattled off four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to put the game out of reach. A Ryan Atkinson goal at 17:45 of the third gave the Jackalopes a flicker of hope at 6-2, but the scoring ceased less than 30 seconds later, when Amarillo’s Greg Gibson made it 7-2 Bulls.

In a wild, uneven game that featured four fights, including a scrap between Jackalopes goaltender Justin Davis and Taffe midway through the second period that resulted in both netminders being ejected, Amarillo and Odessa combined for a total of 80 penalty minutes. Davis made 36 saves on 40 shots faced in his eighth appearance of the season and following Davis’ ejection, Connor Hellebuyck gave up three goals on 14 shots in relief for Odessa.

Next up for the Jackalopes, it’s a two-game weekend set Friday and Saturday night at Ector County Coliseum with West Division foes, the Fresno Monsters.

The Odessa Jackalopes celebrate their 15th Anniversary in 2011-12 and drop the puck on their inaugural campaign as a member of the North American Hockey League.  Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or by visiting the Jacks 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.