Yesterday the Jacks faced the Corpus Christi IceRays to start a 3-in-3 series in Corpus Christi, TX. These will be the final three games of the regular season between these two teams. Odessa entered game one last night, 2-2-1 on the season against the IceRays. This was also game three of five straight between one another as they split last weekend. This is the final 3-in-3 series of the season for the Jacks. Odessa (48pts) entered the game in third place and Corpus Christi (42pts) was in fifth.
The Jacks quickly made themselves at home as Dayne Hoyord (17) scored the first goal of the game within the opening seven minutes of play. Ryan Mansfield (7) would get on the board at the 13:05 mark of the first period. It would not stay 2-0 for long as Dayne Hoyord (18) scored his second of the night only 27 seconds later. It is now the third time this season that Hoyord has scored at least two goals in a game against Corpus Christi. After his goal, Stefan Carney was pulled from the net after allowing three goals on eight shots. Replacing him was Damon Beaver. The IceRays would end Noah Rupprecht’s chance of a shutout as Stepan Kuzetsov (15) scored a power-play goal with under four minutes left in the period. The Jacks outshot the IceRays, 11-9.
After a back-and-forth first ten minutes of the middle period, Nathan Butler (15) went on a breakaway and scored a short-handed goal. Pulling the IceRays within one of the Jacks. It was only the second time this season that the Jacks have allowed a short-handed goal. However, later in the period, the Jacks went on an odd-man rush and Justin Hughes (8) took a wrist shot that flew right past Beaver. The second period ended with Odessa leading, 4-2. They were still outshooting Corpus Christi, 24-21.
In the final period of regulation, the Jacks once again went up by three goals after Nick Ahern (5) scored nine minutes in. A few minutes later and the IceRays were back on the man-advantage and capitalized once again. This time it was Jude Kurtas (9) putting the third goal on the board for the IceRays. J.R. Perdion was given a two-minute minor for hooking towards the final minutes of the game. This time though Chris Duclair intercepted the puck and raced the other way. He was taken down from behind and was awarded a penalty shot. Duclair made a few dekes before sending it backhand to the top shelf of Beaver’s net. That was his 17th goal of the season and his fourth shorthanded (team-high). Odessa went on to win game one by a score of 6-3. They finished with 38 shots and Corpus Christi had 36. The Jacks went 0/3 on the power play and the IceRays went 2/5.
It was the first time that the Jacks won the opening game of a 3-in-3 series this season. Odessa is now at 50 points and is 3-2-1 against Corpus Christi this season. It was the second time in a week that the Jacks have forced the starting IceRays goalie to be relieved of his duties. The Jacks and IceRays have played the most games out of any teams from the South Division (42). Odessa now leads their division in goals with 142. The IceRays have allowed the second-most goals in the South with 137. Puck drop for game two is tonight at 7:05 pm CDT.
Photo credit: Danne Braden