Odessa, TX – Odessa opened the weekend with a St. Patrick’s Day against the Corpus Christi IceRays looking to fend off elimination for one more night. The IceRays came in only one point away from clinching the playoffs, but the Jackalopes had another agenda tonight.
The IceRays were able to get on the board first as Cole Gammer snaps a shot past Hogue on the first shot of the game for the 1-0 lead. Hogue would rebound and play well through the rest of the first, saving the next 12 shots in period one.
Ludwig Stenlund wound up and released a bullet to beat Cam Burggrabe for the 1-1 tie, but it was called back due to Thudium bumping into the goaltender, leaving Odessa behind one. Rowan Savidant tried to get that life back into the crowd and his team, so he dropped the gloves the Jayson Dimizio to fire them back up.
The IceRays came out of the 2nd period and went straight to the power play. Hogue and the defense made a flurry of saves before Corpus Christi’s Brendan Miller fluttered one end-over-end past Hogue’s left pad for the 2-goal lead.
The Jacks would fight back as Zach Herrmann found Levi Wunder and Wunder’s perfect pass to Connor Stuart tipped past Burggrabe on the back door to bring Odessa within one again. A minute later, Ryan MacKellar and Logan Gestro would drop the gloves in a very veteran matchup, resulting in 12 minutes a piece and really liven up the crowd.
Odessa would enter the 3rd down a goal, but Chris Donaldson had a plan to change that. A beautiful pass from Riley Bechard found Donaldson for a small breakaway. Donaldson fought off a defender, dangled to the backhand, and lifted it to the top shelf on a beautiful play to beat Burggrabe and tie the game at 2 a piece.
A minute later, Zach Zech won a faceoff to Cooper Zech, who waited and saw Wunder streaking down the ice for the breakaway. Cooper’s stretch pass was perfect as Wunder fought off a slash from Matt Acciaioli and jammed it past Burggrabe on the far post for the one-goal lead.
The IceRays had plenty of chances down the ice, but Jonny Hogue and the Jackalopes defense lived up to the challenge, coming away with the victory and staying alive for one more night.
Following the victory tonight, the Jackalopes improve to 2-0 on St. Patty Day games, while the IceRays fall to 0-2 in the same scenario. Odessa will be back at it tomorrow for the final game between these two teams on the season, looking for another day of life in the south.
The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes season tickets are on sale now! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.