Odessa Jackalopes (19-12-1-2, 41pts) vs. Wichita Falls Warriors (15-13-4-2, 38pts)
at Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls, TX
Time: 7:05 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: (Away) HockeyTV | Listen Live Here
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 1-1
ODA: 25pts, Goode (10g-15a)
WFW: 37pts, Robinson (18g-19a)
For the first time this season, the Jacks are playing the same team on back-to-back weekends. The first two games will be in Wichita Falls and then next weekend the Warriors will visit the Ector County Coliseum. As of right now, the Jacks are sitting in third place but they are only one point above Amarillo. Wichita Falls is in fifth place. The Warriors are in their second season in the NAHL and looking to reach the playoffs for a second consecutive year. Last season, the Warriors not only shocked the South Division but also the NAHL by sweeping Lone Star in the first round of the playoffs. The Jacks have faced the Warriors only two times this season which is the fewest against any other South Division opponent. With eight points on the line, these last four games of January are very important for both sides.
The Warriors are one of only two teams (St. Cloud Norsemen) in the NAHL to not be in a playoff spot but hold a positive goal differential. Odessa has scored one more goal than Wichita Falls but has also allowed one more. The Jacks have the second-most goals in their division (111). They have allowed the third-most at 97. The most goals scored by a Jackalopes team was in 2017-18 (192). Both Wichita Falls and Odessa recorded their most goals in a game this season against El Paso (8). The Warriors have only been held off the scoreboard once this season, and that was against the Anchorage Wolverines on Sep. 17, 2021 (1-0, OT). Odessa has scored 22 goals and allowed 19 in their last five games. Wichita Falls has registered 22 goals and has given up 10 in their previous five games. The Warriors also have two shutouts in those five games. They have the second-most shutouts, only behind Shreveport (6), in the South Division (5).
Odessa currently has three players that have skated in all 34 games for the Jacks this season (Emerson Goode, J.R. Perdion, Ryan Kusler). Frank Dovorany has played in 34 games this year but nine were with the Austin Bruins. Wichita Falls only has two skaters that have played in all their games (Ryan Robinson, Alex Walker). With 60 games in a season, it can be very difficult to lace up the skates for every single one. Not every player can say that they played the full length of a season. So while there are still 26 games to be played, look for all these players to do everything they can to keep the streak alive.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (D: #4 – Trevor Taulien)
The native of Crystal Lake, IL is in his rookie season in the NAHL. The 6’5”/215lb. right-handed defenseman leads all defensemen in shorthanded goals (3). Taulien is ninth on the team in points (14) and he has the fourth-most points on the team by a rookie. He has the most goals by a defenseman on the team (6). Taulien has scored two goals and helped on three during his last five games. The 18-year-old spent last season in the NCDC playing 37 games for Boston Advantage (3g). In 2019-20, Trevor played for the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals (16U AAA) where he recorded 45 points in 52 games (10g). He finished third on the team in points that year and was their top defenseman. He also spent time playing for them in the T1EHL 16U level where he recorded 24 points (3g) in 23 games.
Warriors (F: #19 – Ryan Robinson)
This is Robinson’s third year in the NAHL and his final year of junior eligibility. His first season was with the Bismarck Bobcats where he produced 13 points (4g) in 25 games. That year he also played 14 games (1a) for the Fargo Force (USHL). The Plano, TX native spent the entire 2019-20 season in the USHL with the Des Moines Buccaneers (35gp, 1g-4a). Then last season, the Warriors took Robinson with the #1 overall pick in the Supplemental Draft. He finished last season with 14 points (8g) in 26 games. This season the 6’0”/190lb. left-handed forward is leading his team in goals and points. The Arizona State University commit has three goals and six assists in his last five games. Robinson was named South Division Star of the Week for December 28 – January 3, 2021. In the two games he has played against Odessa, he has a goal and an assist. Finally, Robinson’s 37 points put him in a tie for the 14th-most in the league.