ODESSA, TX — What words can end a season? What words can bring solace to the players? Those who have given their all for their brothers, their teammates, their coaches and their fans.
The Odessa Jackalopes concluded the 2018-19 season with a 7-2 loss to the Amarillo Bulls on Saturday night at the Ector County Coliseum. It was a hard fought game, were the Bulls continued to take the lead, only for the Jackalopes to storm back and refuse to go away.
The Jackalopes saw goals from Joseph Winkelmann and Jack Conroy in the first and second period respectively. Unfortunately, Amarillo, up 3-2 in the third, rattled off four unanswered goals to take a commanding 7-2 lead by the time the final horn sounded and the Jackalopes’ season had ended.
The Jackalopes finish the season with a 21-35-2-2 record overall on the season, finishing sixth place in the North American Hockey League South Division.
The disappointment of a last-place finish stings, and will continue to sting into the off season. It’s important to remember and recognize the efforts of those young men who donned the red, white and black of Odessa and played for the logo on the front as well as the pride of their city.
For many of them, they will look forward to next season, with the Jackalopes or on the next step of their hockey journey.
But for many 98’s their junior hockey career is over. For those gentlemen we should remember the positives, the good times of this season. For there were many.
Remember the heroics of Alex Camarre, whose acrobatic saves led the Jacks to many spectacular victories.
Remember Brendan Coughlin whose leadership and work ethic was a steady presence on the blue line all season.
Remember Carl Skarstom and Vaclav Zidek, two Europeans who made the ice their stage and showed off their exceptional finesse and clutch skill.
Remember Kade Phipps, who started the home-opener the same day he first stepped foot in west Texas, only to lead the Jackalopes to a glorious victory against the defending Robertson Cup Champions.
Remember the Stanley Cup which, for one night, called Odessa home.
Remember the good moments from this season. Because as much as this ending stings, more good moments are sure to come.