Tag Archives: Odessa Jackalopes

James Crossman commits to DI Brown University

Blaine,  MN — Fresh off of his first victory back as a member of the Odessa Jackalopes James Crossman verbally committed to Brown University on Thursday night.

The defenseman from Cherry Hills, Colorado was a constant force on the blue line last year for Odessa, notching seven goals along with 27 assists for 34 points last season.

Crossman returned to the Jackalopes lineup on Wednesday after a brief stint in the United States Hockey League.

This year Crossman has excelled in his first two games back notching two goals and an assist for three points so far this season.

The Brown University Brown Bears play division 1 college hockey as a part of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) against other prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Dartmouth.

Crossman’s commitment marks the third Jackalope on this year’s roster committed to play DI college hockey.

Jackalopes mount third period rally to defeat New Jersey 4-3

BLAINE, MN – Before the game on Thursday, James Crossman said that this is “a special group” when asked about his teammates this season, both familiar and new. After today Crossman’s assessment may have been validated as the Odessa Jackalopes (2-2-1) mounted a four-goal third period comeback to defeat the New Jersey Titans (3-1-0) 4-3 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.

The Jackalopes started the first period we, dominating the shots on goal, but still found themselves down 1-0 after the first period. The second period was worse. Two New Jersey goals brought the deficit to 3-0 as the Jacks seemed to be battling the Titans, penalties, and a seemingly hot goaltender in Brandon Perrone.

In the third period, the Jacks were looking for something to change the momentum and they found it.

Rex Moe, one of the leading scorers in the North American Hockey League, took a shot in close that was initially saved, gathering up the rebound, Moe’s second effort found the back of the net and the Jacks were on the board midway through the third period. The goal extended Moe’s scoring streak to three games.

The second Jackalopes goal came off the stick of Crossman on a power play strike, his second tally in as many games. The PPG was the first one the Titans had given up all year and pulled the Jacks within one with under four minutes to play.

Fifty-seven seconds later Jared Christy received a perfect lead pass and found himself on a breakaway. Though he was taken down from behind, he was awarded a penalty shot for his efforts. On the attempt, Chrsity skated to his left, and baited Perrone into a poke-check. This opened up his five-hole and Christy made no mistake and deposited the game-tying goal between the legs of Perrone.

But it was 25 seconds later that the Jacks put forward the coup-de-grace.

Having used their time out earlier in the period, New Jersey could not stop the play and the Jackalopes momentum.

Vaclav Zidek found himself with space in the middle of the slot. After receiving a pass for Crossman, Zidek quickly sent the puck towards the net and saw it beat Perrone, who looked shaky on the save attempt.

Zidek’s third goal of the season capped an incredible four-goal comeback. In a span of less than two minutes Odessa went from down 3-1 to leading 4-3. They held on to that lead for the remainder of the game.

Jackalopes goaltender CJ Hapward made 23 saves in the victory, he remains undefeated when starting this season. The Jackalopes will play the Springfield Jr. Blues on Friday as part of the 2018 NAHL Showcase. Face-off is set for 1:30 pm.

Jackalopes earn first victory of season over Topeka 4-3

TOPEKA, KS – The Odessa Jackalopes (1-1-1) distinguished themselves in more ways than one on Sunday when they defeated the Topeka Pilots (2-1-0) 4-3 in the final contest of the three-game series.

Things did not start out well initially for the Jacks, two goals by Quinn Green put Odessa in an early hole. The Jacks found life late in the first period though when Carl Skarstrom found the back of the net with just 24 seconds left of play in the first period. Skarstrom’s second goal of the season, cut the Topeka lead in half and game the Jacks momentum heading into the locker-room.

The Jackalopes then went on a tear in the second period, scoring three goals with two coming on the power play.

Vaclav Zidek tipped a Kellen Tharaldson shot into the back of the net to tie the game 2-2. He was quickly followed by Rex Moe who made a nice toe-drag on the left side to evaded a defender before firing a quick wrister over the   glove of Emil Gransoe. Moe’s league leading fifth point gave the Jackalopes their first lead of the afternoon.

In the later stages of the second, the Jackalopes earned another power play. This time Kyle Herbster took the puck to the far-left face-off dot and took a hard shot that beat Gransoe low to his right side.

CJ Hapward was superb for the remainder of the game, making big saves and stuffing two Pilots breakaways.

Despite a late goal by Topeka late in the third, it was too little too late as the Jacks held on to earn a 4-3 victory, their first in the 2018-19 campaign.

In addition to earning a hard-fought victory, the Jacks now have three players (Jared Christy, Herbster, and Moe) tied for the NAHL in scoring.

Needless to say, the win has the Jackalopes riding a wave of enthusiasm into the NAHL showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. Odessa will face their first opponent, the Austin Bruins, on
Wednesday September 19. Face-off is set for 4:00 pm.

Pilots third period surge too much for Odessa, fall to Topeka 3-1

TOPEKA, KS – For all of about three minutes or so, the Odessa Jackalopes played winning hockey. Defense was sound, the offense was aggressive, and Alex Camarre was having a terrific rebound game after the previous night.

But a quick surge by the Topeka Pilots saw the Jacks lose their 1-0 lead only to see it turn into a 2-1 deficit midway through the third period.

After a scoreless first period, the Jackalopes were able to strike first for the second night in a row. The top line of Jared Christy, Kyle Herbster and Rex Moe continued to thrive as Herbster defected an incoming shot from the far left half-boards into the net to notch his first goal and third point of the season.

The Jackalopes took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission. It was a situation they had seen before in the pre-season. Up one goal, with solid goaltending and a defense that had been playing lights out for almost the entire game. A betting man would have said that Odessa was poise to hold on for the win.

Things indeed seemed to be heading that direction when the Jacks were awarded a power play midway through the final period. However, just 50 seconds into the man advantage, Moe was assessed a slashing minor and play switched to 4-on-4.

Within two minutes, the Pilots scored first on the 4-on-4 then again on their abbreviated power play to erase Odessa’s hard-fought lead.

The Jacks showed great resiliency in a comeback attempt and had several chances to tie the game, but unfortunately they could not convert.

A late empty-net goal by the Pilots sealed the 3-1 victory for Topeka, their second win in as many nights.

The Jackalopes (0-1-1) will have a day off before their final game of the series with the Pilots (2-0-0) on Sunday. Face-off is set for 4:00 pm.

Jacks fall to Pilots 7-6 in shootout

TOPEKA, KS – It was an effort worthy of a better result, but Odessa Jacklopes could not find enough to get the win. They fell to the Topeka Pilots 7-6 in the shootout in their first game of the season.

Led by assistant captain Jared Christy, the Jacks surged ahead to two separate leads in the first period, only to see the Pilots quickly storm back to tie the game up. The first period ended with both teams tied 2-2.

The second period saw Topeka jump out to a 4-2 lead in the first three minutes of the second period. That ended the night for starter Alex Camarre and saw C.J. Hapward come in goal for the Jacks.

Brick-walled by Hapward, the Jacks stormed off a Pilots surge in the second period, and were able to slowly claw their way back in the third period.

Third year returner Zach Heintz brought the Jacks within one in the opening two minutes of the third period. This was soon after followed up by Rex Moe’s first goal of the season that came on the Jacks’ power play. Odessa was 2/5 on the man advantage on Thursday.

The following Jackalopes power play saw them give up a shorthanded goal to Austin McCarthy to cap his hat trick.

Undeterred the Jacks stormed back during the remaining power play time and quickly tied things back up. Carl Skarstrom netted his first goal of the season to tie the game up 5-5.

The pilots continued to apply the pressure though and almost had the game won when Brendan Schultz scored on a great individual effort. But Vaclav Zidek was able to counter, picking up a juicy rebound in front of the net and rifling a shot past Pilot goaltender Sam Metcalf.

The game proceeded to a 3-on-3 overtime that saw both teams get chances to score. The Best chance for Odessa came midway through the period as Rex Moe, already with a goal in hand, streaked pas a defender on the far-right side. Moe streaked in on goal, and sent a backhander toward the net that he the left side post squarely before deflecting away to the corner.

With both teams tied after overtime, the Jacks preceded to a shootout. Topeka won the shootout 2-0 with McCarty scoring the winning goal.

Odessa, now 0-0-1 on the season, will play the Pilots, 1-0-0, again on Friday night. Puck-drop is set for 7:05 pm.

NAHL sets new single-season commitment record

The North American Hockey League announced on Thursday that the league has  has set a new NCAA commitment record for the fifth straight season.

Approximately 312 players committed to  play hockey at the NCAA level last season with 224 of them committing to Division I schools. In terms of total college commitments, the NAHL finished second only to the United States Hockey League (USHL) last season.

The amount of college commitments in the NAHL has been on a steady increase over the past few years, owing in large part to a rise in talent level throughout the league.

“I think the thing that stands out is that our commitment numbers continue to rise because the level of play and talent getting better each season,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld in a statement.

Last year the Jackalopes had eight NCAA commitments that helped lead the Jacks to a third-place finish in the NAHL South before falling in the first round of the playoffs to the Lone Star Brahmas.

Odessa head coach Greg Gatto said that amount of exposure available to players in the NAHL is key for helping them advance their goals of becoming collegiate hockey players.

“The amount of exposure our players get is invaluable and to me, that’s how we convince them that the NAHL is the place to be. They get so much exposure, everywhere, and it lasts all season,” said  Gatto.

For more information, be sure to check out the full press release published by  the NAHL league office.