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.