Tonight’s Preview: After a Friday loss, the Jackalopes look to flip home-ice advantage and tie the series with the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 1-1. Including regular season play, the Cats have now won 17-straight home games and are 11-20-1 all-time in postseason play, while the Jacks are now 1-and-4 in playoffs all-time.
Last time Out: The Odessa Jackalopes exploded for three first period goals by Brandon Tucker, Pierce Pluemer, and Zach Zech less than a minute apart Saturday, but the Cats countered with five second-period tallies and held on for a game-one 6-3 win. Jeff Baum struck twice and Jon Lazarus, Nikita Litviak, Aleksi Poikola and Andre Pison all added goals while Justin Kapelmaster stopped 34 Jacks shots.
Cat Cave: Including regular season play, the Wichita Falls Wildcats have now won 17 straight home games after Saturday night and are now 8-7-0 all-time on home ice in the playoffs. The Cats went 26-3-1 at Kay Yeager Coliseum in the regular season. The Jacks last win in Wichita Falls came on September 13, 2014 (4-3).
Playoff Presence: The Wichita Falls Wildcats have six players with previous playoff experience (Jeff Baum, Austin Beaulieu, Jon Lazarus, Nikita Litviak, Erich Jaeger, and Austin Albrecht). All six players recorded at least one point Friday. Baum potted a pair of goals and now has 2 goals and 1 assist in seven career playoff games. Beaulieu tacked on two assists and now has 1 goal and 5 assists in 7 career playoff games. Lazarus scored once and now has 3 goals and 1 assist in seven career postseason games. Litviak also had a goal and now has 2 goals and 2 assists in seven career playoff games. Jaeger had one assist and now has 0 goals and 1 assist in six career playoff games. Last, Albrecht had two assists and now has 2 goals and 4 assists in seven career playoff games.
Miller Missing: Jacks power-forward Brennen Miller applied a check during the first period of Friday’s game that broke his orbital bone just under his left eye. The 20-year-old forward finished off the period and recorded an assist on Pierce Pluemer’s tally. Miller is expected to miss the remainder of the series and potentially the playoffs if the Jacks advance.
Tucks Luck: Jacks forward Brandon Tucker got Odessa on the board first in the opening frame. The Colorado Springs, CO, native had 2 goals and 2 assists against Wichita Falls in nine regular season games. Tucker had 7 goals and 17 assists in 55 games this year.
Fierce Pierce: Pierce Pluemer continued his red-hot ways by potting Odessa’s second goal of the game Friday. The Phillips, WI, native had zero points in three previous games against Wichita Falls, and 9 total goals in 35 games with the Jacks.
Zach Attack: Jacks Center-man Zach Zech hadn’t scored in his last eight games entering the playoffs but the South Lyon, MI, native potted his first playoff goal in his first playoff game and now has 5 goals and 3 assists in 11 games against the Cats in the regular season and postseason combined.
Jackalopes Broadcast: Join the voice of the Jacks’ Nick Nollenberger live for every game on the Jacks flagship station Classic Rock 102.1 FM and fasthockey.com.