Tonight’s Preview: The Jacks and Wildcats kick off their best of five first round playoff tilt Friday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls. Odessa went 3-6-1 in 10 games against the 1st seeded Cats in the regular season after winning the final three games against Wichita Falls on February 4th, 5th, and 6th.
Dancing Partner: The Wildcats and Jacks have never met up in the postseason. Odessa is 1-3-0 in NAHL postseason play all-time after losing in the opening round to the Amarillo Bulls in 2012. The Wildcats make their eighth playoff appearance in team history with an all-time record of 10-20-1 and 7-7-0 at home. 2015, was the first year the Cats won a series defeating the Rio Grande Killer Bees, 2-0 in a best-of-three.
Cat Cave: The Wildcats have been dominant on home ice winning 16 straight games heading into postseason play and ended the year with a record of 26-3-1. Odessa went 0-4-0 against the Cats at Kay Yeager Coliseum. The Jacks last win in Wichita Falls came on September 13, 2014 (4-3).
Pace Setters: Austin Albrecht and Adam Goodsir’s 26 and 28 goals respectively were good for fourth and fifth in the NAHL. Albrecht ended the regular season seventh in the NAHL in points (28-32-60). Jacks center-man Hampus Sjodahl ended the regular season second in goals (35) and third in points (69). Odessa’s Derek Brown also finished in the top five in points (64) while ending the year with the league's longest point streak of 16 games from January 17-March 11 (7g, 17a).
Wet Behind the Ears: The Wichita Falls Wildcats have six players who have playoff experience (Jeff Baum, Austin Beaulieu, Jonathon Lazarus, Nikita Litviak, Erich Jaeger and Austin Albrecht) while the Jacks only one, Connor Wood. Wood appeared in two playoff games, last year for the Rio Grande killer Bees, collecting no points and a minus-three rating.
3rd Times the Charm: Jacks forward Derek Brown and defenseman Drew McLean will make their playoff debuts Friday in their third and final year with Odessa. McLean holds the Jackalopes record for games played (169) and the most penalty minutes (310) while Brown is Odessa’s all-time assist’s (88) and point’s leader (128).
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.