AMARILLO, TX – The game was decided in the third period. The Odessa Jackalopes (7-23-1-1) played their best game of the calendar year but still found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard as they were defeated by the Amarillo Bulls (26-6-1-2) by a score of 5-1 at the Budweiser Bull Pen on Saturday.
Odessa played a solid defensive game for most of the night, getting in the way of shots and passing lanes and frustrating Amarillo offensively. It was only on one miscue that the Bulls took a 1-0 lead late in the first period.
But the Jackalopes stormed back in the second period as Matt Hutton was able to finish off an outstanding shift by every Jackalope on the ice. The Jacks worked the puck well from low to high and were able to find Hutton in the high slot as he rifled a shot into the back of the net for his eight goal of the season.
With the game tied 1-1, the Jackalopes embarked on their first power play of the game, but were unable to convert. The Bulls then gained momentum and then scored a few minutes before the intermission to re-take the lead.
Down 2-1 the Jackalopes looked to be ready to tie the game in the third, but instead disaster struck.
After a collision between Matt Allen and Connor Lindsoe, Lindsoe was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for head contact. The Jackalopes disputed the call, saying the hit was clean but the Bulls received a major power play regardless.
Amarillo scored twice on the extended power play to take a 4-1 lead and then again on a separate power play to go up 5-1.
Jackalopes goaltender Zach Stern made a season high 48 saves on the night, it marks the second straight game his save number has hit a season high.
The Jackalopes will face the Bulls again on Sunday afternoon in Amarillo at 3:00 P.M. for the final game of the weekend series.