Taff, Racek bury in 8-2 loss to Texas



Mar. 9, 2013



Winless streak pushed to 12 for Jacks, tying franchise record.


ODESSA, TX – In the final game between the two teams this season, the Odessa Jackalopes surrendered three power-play goals to the defending Robertson Cup Champion Texas Tornado in an 8-2 defeat Saturday at Ector County Coliseum. With the loss, the Jacks fell to 6-42-3 overall this season and with 15 points, remain alone in sixth place in the NAHL’s South Division standings.

A trifecta of Tornado goals in the first period, from Mitchell McPherson, Brandon Hawkins and Jackson Leef respectively, put the Jacks in a deep hole early and in the second, Texas kept on firing, to the tune of two more scores, by Nick Neville and Justin Greenberg, to put the defending NAHL champs up 5-0.

Chris Taff stemmed the Tornado tide momentarily at 13:04 of the middle frame, when the Omaha, Nebraska native plunged a heating wrist shot past Texas goaltender Aaron Davis’ blocker hand for his first goal of the season. After Neville extended the Texas lead to 6-1 later in the period, Odessa winger Josh Racek struck early in the third to draw the Jacks within four goals at 6-2 on a sneaky, worming power-play chance set up by Taff and Jimmy Peplinski at 1:53. At the end of the day though, the Tornado offense was just too much as insult-to-injury goals from Louie Rowe at 10:52 and a second tally by Hawkins two minutes later, sealed the 8-2 win for Texas.

Saturday’s defeat, the Jackalopes’ twelfth consecutive game without a victory, matched an Odessa franchise record—in the Jacks’ inaugural season in the Western Professional Hockey League in 1997-98, Odessa went 12 games without a win from October 25th, 1997 to November 18th of that year. The Jacks’ last win this season came in a 4-3 win over Corpus Christi on January 25th.

Next up for the Jacks, it’s a mid-week showdown with the Wichita Falls Wildcats with the opening faceoff set for 7:05 pm Wednesday at Ector County Coliseum.

In 2012-13, the Odessa Jackalopes drop the puck on their second season as a member of the North American Hockey League. Season ticket packages for the Jacks’ sophomore campaign are available now starting at just $179. To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.

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.