Odessa Jackalopes (8-3-0-0, 16pts) vs. New Mexico Ice Wolves (6-2-0-0, 12pts)
at Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, NM
Time: 7:30 p.m. MDT (Friday) | 6:30 p.m. MDT (Saturday)
Broadcast: (Away) HockeyTV
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 0-0
ODA: 12pts, Perdion (4g-8a)
NMO: 7pts, Dulak (3g-4a)
Odessa will end their month-long road trip this weekend in New Mexico. They have not been to the Outpost Ice Arenas since Feb. 14-15, 2020. The Jacks currently sit in first place in the South Division. The Ice Wolves are in fourth place but have played the fewest number of games in the division. Since returning from the NAHL Showcase, Odessa is 6-1. As for New Mexico, they are 3-1 against teams from the South. The Ice Wolves won their first game of the season by shutting out the Kenai River Brown Bears, 5-0. They are also coming off a weekend sweep against the Corpus Christi IceRays. Both games ended in overtime, 3-2. The Jacks are not only coming off a weekend sweep themselves, but they are also on a five-game win streak. If the Jacks win both games this weekend it will tie a franchise record dating back from their first season in the NAHL (2011-12).
The Jacks are undefeated (6-0) when scoring the first goal of the game. In the first game against El Paso last weekend, the Jacks scored four-unanswered goals in the final period of regulation. Tying a season high from their game on Oct. 1st versus Shreveport. Odessa still has the most goals for in their division with 39. They also have the best goal differential at plus 13. Even though New Mexico has played the fewest games they have the third best goal differential with plus eight. Odessa enters New Mexico averaging 3.55 goals-per-game putting them ninth overall in that category. The Ice Wolves are 19th with an average of three goals-per-game. Both teams though know how to keep pucks out of their net too. As New Mexico is allowing the fewest goals-per-game in the NAHL with two. Odessa is tied for third with 2.36.
Odessa has the second-fewest penalty minutes in their division at 105. New Mexico has the fourth most with 133. Odessa went 0/10 last weekend against El Paso while on the powerplay. Although they were unable to convert while up a man, their powerplay still ranks inside the top-10 in the league (22.2%). New Mexico is in the bottom-five of the league with a powerplay percentage of 10%. The key for the Jacks will be to stay disciplined and try to draw penalties against the Ice Wolves.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (F: #19 – Dayne Hoyord)
The native of Scandinavia, WI has been of fire recently for the Jacks. The 19-year-old is currently on a five-game point streak which started back on Oct. 1st. The 5’10”/195lb. right-handed forward has tallied six goals and two assists during his current point streak. Hoyord was drafted #252 overall in 2019 by the Springfield Jr. Blues. Last year, Hoyord played 52 games for Odessa and recorded 19 points (7g). He is tied with Emerson Goode for fourth on the team in scoring with nine points. His six goals put him in a tie with Chris Duclair for the team lead. One-third of Hoyord’s goals have wound up being the game winner.
Ice Wolves (G: #95 – Beni Halasz)
Halasz is currently ranked first among goalies in the NAHL. The native of Budapest, HUN has a record of 4-1 (1.78GAA, .911SV%). The 6’0”/180lb. left-handed netminder was drafted #242 overall in 2021 by Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL). Halasz played 23 games for the Ice Wolves last season totaling a 12-8-2 record (2.81GAA, .912SV%). He also had a shutout in his third NAHL game last year. This year, Halasz already has a shutout and has not allowed more than three goals in any of his five games.