Odessa Jackalopes (19-19-1-1, 40pts) vs. Corpus Christi IceRays (10-27-5, 25pts)
at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX
Time: Friday 7:05 p.m. CDT | Saturday 7:05 p.m. CDT
What You Need to Know:
All-Time Record: 45-49-7-2
Season Series: 4-0
ODA: 38pts, Mansfield (15G, 23A)
COR: 28pts, Ulvebne (8G, 20A)
Odessa is down to their final 20 games of the regular season. Half of which will be against a team currently in a playoff spot. Since the Jacks joined the NAHL in 2011-12, there have only been two seasons in which a team from the South made the playoffs with fewer than 60 points. The Jacks are currently 11 points out of a playoff spot but have three games in hand on [fourth place] New Mexico and two games in hand on [third place] Shreveport. Odessa has yet to be in a playoff spot this season. Eleven of the final 20 games for the Jacks will be played on home ice. Odessa has performed much better at home (10-7-1-1) than on the road (9-12) so far this season.
Start to Finish:
Corpus Christi has allowed the most goals in the opening period in the NAHL (55). Odessa is T-3rd for most goals scored in the first period (45). The Jacks have a record of 12-7-1-1 when scoring the first goal. The IceRays have scored the fewest number of goals in the second period (25) and have given up the second most (63) across all 29 teams. Corpus Christi has been scored on 170 times this season which is the second most in the league. The Jacks are one of only two teams that have yet to lose a game when leading after two periods. Corpus Christi is 2-23-1 when trailing after 40 minutes of play.
The Jackalopes enter this weekend with a 5-4-1 record in their last ten matchups. As for the IceRays, they come in with a 4-6 record. Corpus Christi was shut out once during their last ten games, but they did manage to sweep Lone Star while the Brahmas were in first place. They also picked up split weekends with New Mexico and El Paso. However, they were outscored 43-25 during the ten-game span. They also lost four straight to Oklahoma. Odessa has had six of their last ten games be decided by one goal (3-2-1). The Jacks have been outscored 32-29 throughout their previous ten contests. Twelve of those goals allowed came last weekend when they were swept by Oklahoma.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (F: #28 – Tanyon Bajzer)
The Cleveland, OH native is in his final year of junior eligibility. The 20-year-old spent his rookie season last year with Odessa and tallied 29 points (18G, 11A) in 49 games. Which put him in a tie for sixth in points. The 6’1”/170lb. right-handed forward is currently second on the team in points with 35 (16G, 19A). Bajzer has been named South Division Star of the Week twice in his career so far. He also just played in his first Top Prospects Tournament and finished with three points (1G, 2A). Bajzer has gotten at least one point in 23 of the 40 games he had played this season. He has gotten five points in his last five games (3G, 2A). In the four games he has played against the IceRays, Bajzer has registered three goals and four assists. Also, his shooting percentage of 18.6% is a team-high and he is T-1st in plus/minus with 14.
IceRays (F: #28 – Anthony Cafarelli)
The 19-year-old is in his first season in the NAHL. The Middleton, MA native is currently T-7th on the team in scoring with 17 points. His 11 goals are tied for the team lead. The 5’9”/170lb. right-handed forward was previously drafted #2 overall in 2019 by the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). Before reaching the NAHL, Cafarelli spent last season playing for the Wenatchee Wild (BCHL). He went on to total 12 points (4G, 8A) in 46 games. Cafarelli is currently on a two-game goal streak and has eight points (7G, 1A) in his last ten games. He is also T-1st for the most shots taken on the team at 81. In his four games against Odessa, Cafarelli has only scored one point (1G).
Photo credit: Danne Braden