Odessa Jackalopes (6-3-0-0, 12pts) vs. El Paso Rhinos (3-5-0-0, 6pts)
at El Paso County Events Center in El Paso, TX
Time: 7:00 p.m. MDT
Broadcast: (Away) HockeyTV
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 0-0
ODA: 10pts, Duclair (6g-4a)
ELP: 6pts, Horn (3g-4a)
First of Many:
Tomorrow the Jacks and Rhinos will go head-to-head for the very first time. This weekend also marks El Paso’s first two home games of the season. The Rhinos currently find themselves in last place after being swept by Shreveport last weekend. As for Odessa, they enter this weekend in first place in the South Division. The Jacks will be facing every team from the South Division eight times this season. Although, they will finish all eight games against El Paso before the calendar turns to 2022. With their last game coming on New Year’s Eve at the Ector County Coliseum.
Last Line of Defense:
The Jacks enter this weekend with two goalies ranked in the top-20 overall. Alex Proctor currently sits in seventh (5-1) with a 2.06 goals-against-average. As for his save percentage, Proctor is ranked fourth at .935%. Noah Rupprecht (1-1) is 15th overall for goalies with a 2.32 GAA. His save percentage is at .909% which puts him just outside the top-20 in that category. As for the Rhinos, their main goalie Lassi Lehti (3-4) has played in all but one game for his squad. He has a GAA of 2.99 with a SV% of .908%. He is also tied for fifth in the league with the most goals against at 19.
The Difference Maker:
The Jacks are 4-1 against divisional opponents. Odessa went 2-2 while at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN. They finished the Showcase scoring 13 goals and allowing 11. Since then, they have tallied 18 and have allowed 11. Odessa currently leads all South Division teams with 31 goals. They have the best goal differential with nine. The Jacks have scored five goals in two of their last three contests. Whether it is playing with a lead or mounting a comeback; expect there to be a lot of scoring production this weekend from the Jacks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (F: #15 – Liam O’hare)
The 20-year-old is in his second season in the NAHL. Last season, O’hare played 37 games for Odessa (3g, 7a). This year, the Barcelona, ESP native is on pace to blow his last year’s total out of the water as he already has seven points (3g). O’hare is currently tied with Dayne Hoyord and Emerson Goode for third on the team in points. The 5’8”/170lb. left-handed forward is currently on a four-game point streak (1g, 4a). It is his longest point streak of his NAHL career. Odessa has six power-play goals with one belonging to O’hare.
Rhinos (F: #14 – Jonathan Horn)
The native of Southbury, CT is in his rookie season in the NAHL. Horn currently leads his team in goals with four. The 5’11”/175lb. left-handed forward has one of El Paso’s three power-play goals. The 19-year-old was drafted #29 overall by the Rhinos in 2021. The last time Horn played hockey was in 2019-20 for Hotchkiss School (USHS-Prep). He scored 25 points (8g) in 26 games for them. Finishing third on the team in points. Horn scored in his NAHL debut while at the Showcase against the Anchorage Wolverines.