‘Rays Slayed, Jacks Rally for Last-Second Win



Feb. 25, 2012



Odessa pulls within five points of a postseason berth with buzzer-beating, 5-4 victory.


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX– In the eighth of ten regular season meetings between the two teams, the Odessa Jackalopes rallied back from down 2-0 to defeat the Corpus Christi IceRays in the final seconds Saturday by a 5-4 final score in front of 4, 642 fans at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. With the win, the Jackalopes improved to 19-24-5 overall this season and with 43 points, remained alone in fifth place in the NAHL’s South Division standings, five points shy of Corpus Christi for the South Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.

After the IceRays tallied back-to-back goals within a one-minute span late in the first period, the Jackalopes stormed back in the middle frame, rattling off a pair of unanswered scores in quick succession to tie the game at two. At 5:19 of the second, Odessa winger Ryan Doucet beat Corpus Christi netminder Anthony Stolarz five-hole for an unassisted power-play goal, then two minutes later, former IceRay Josh Obregon wormed his way down low in the Corpus Christi zone and slipped the tying goal past Stolarz at 7:28.

The third period started strong for the Jacks, as Tyler Minx’s first goal of the season, a heavy slapper from the left point, found twine at 2:59 to put Odessa up 3-2, but Corpus Christi was quick to respond, evening the score less than three minutes later when IceRays forward Eric Purcell cranked a one-time feed off an offensive zone faceoff past Odessa goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

Following a brief scoring lull, Doucet sprayed a centering feed in front of Stolarz from the left corner of his offensive zone that Jackalopes centerman Ryan Atkinson tapped home at 10:12 of the third to put the Jackalopes on top again, 4-3. But much like earlier in the period, the IceRays didn’t fold, answering back at 18:26 with a Brandon Smith transition goal on the power-play to tie the game once more.

As the final seconds ticked away in regulation, a 50-50 puck at center ice sent Doucet away on a one-on-one against Corpus Christi captain Frank Misuraca. After delaying ever-so-slightly to fake a pass, Doucet sent a whistling wrist shot past Stolarz with just seven seconds remaining in the game, lifting Odessa to victory by a final score of 5-4.

The victory improved Odessa’s record to 5-1-2 head-to-head with Corpus Christi this season and was the first win for the Jackalopes at American Bank Center in 2011-12. Saturday marked the first time all year that the Jacks earned a perfect mark on the power-play as Odessa converted on their only man-advantage chance in the game.

Next up for the Jacks, it’s the final pair of four consecutive games against Corpus Christi, starting Friday, March 2nd at 7:05 pm at Ector County Coliseum

The Odessa Jackalopes celebrate their 15th Anniversary in 2011-12 and drop the puck on their inaugural campaign as a member of the North American Hockey League.  Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-7825 or by visiting the Jacks online at www.jackalopes.org.

Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all season long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.