Amarillo Wranglers (23-22-1-2, 49pts) vs. Odessa Jackalopes (24-19-1-4, 53pts)
at Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, TX
Time: 7:15 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: (Home) HockeyTV | Listen Live Here
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 2-2
AMW: 56pts, Skrastins (30g-26a)
ODA: 32pts, Duclair (17g-15a)
The Wranglers have 13 players on their roster with at least ten points. However, only two have more than 24 points and they are both from Riga, Latvia. Glebs Prohorenkovs has 41 points (15g, 26a) and leads his team in power-play assists with 15. Kristaps Skrastins leads the team in points (56) and power-play goals (14). Amarillo has 39 power-play goals this season. Skrastins is sixth in the entire NAHL in points and his 30 goals are the third most. He also has six points in his last five games (3g, 3a). Prohorenkovs has five points in his previous five games (2g, 3a). They have combined for four goals and seven assists in the four games against Odessa this season.
Last weekend the Jacks did not earn a point for the first time this season. They were swept by the Shreveport Mudbugs, who are now tied with them for the final playoff spot. Amarillo was recently on an 11-game losing streak and has only won five games in 2022. They are coming off a sweep over last place El Paso Rhinos. The Jacks have scored 15 goals against Amarillo this season but have given up 18 to them. Odessa has 158 goals this season which is only behind New Mexico and Wichita Falls, who are tied for the most in the South at 161. The Wranglers have 122 goals this season which is the second-fewest in the South. Both teams have only played 48 of 60 games so far this season which means 24 points is still up for grabs. The Jacks are within three points of Wichita Falls. This will be the first time the Jacks are on home ice since their 3-in-3 series to start February.
Scoring By Period:
Odessa’s best period of hockey is the third as they are +9 in goal differential during the final 20 minutes of regulation. Their 59 goals in the third period are tied for the 10th-most. Odessa’s worst scoring period is their second as they are -8 in the middle frame. Mainly due to them allowing four goals in that period during each game against Shreveport last weekend. As for Amarillo, they are -15 in the opening period and -9 in the final period. Their 31 goals in the first period are the fourth-fewest in the NAHL. They have 32 goals in the third period which is tied with Shreveport for the fewest in the league. The Wranglers are 17-4 when scoring the first goal of the game and the Jacks are 18-7.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Wranglers (G: #35 – Carter Clafton)
The Grand Rapids, MN native is in his second season in the NAHL. In 2020, Clafton was drafted #40 overall by the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. He started his NAHL career with the Minot Minotauros in 2020-21 (3.34GAA, .899SV%, 1SO, 3-6-2). He played 21 games (3.33GAA, .897SV%, 8-8-1) for Minot this year before being acquired by Amarillo. The 19-year-old has played seven games for the Wranglers this season and has a record of 4-2-1 (2.28GAA, .933SV%). The 6’2”/170lb. left-handed goaltender is 4-1 (11GA) in his previous five games. His record this season is 12-10 (3.03GAA, .908SV%). Clafton won South Division Star of the Week for February 28-March 6, 2022. Before playing junior hockey, Clafton spent three years (2017-20) playing for Grand Rapids High (USHS-MN) and totaled 56 games (25-28-1, 5SO). He was their captain in 2019-20.
Jackalopes (F: #11 – Ryan Mansfield)
The 19-year-old is in his first season in the NAHL. The Burlington, ON native has recorded four points in his last five games (3g, 1a). The 5’11”/195lb. left-handed forward is tied for sixth on the team in points with 22 (10g, 12a). His ten goals also put him in a tie for sixth. Before reaching the NAHL, Mansfield played for the Toronto Patriots in 2019-20. Finishing with 32 points in 50 games (10g, 22a). Mansfield already has 12 points (6g, 6a) in 2022 which is two more than he had through the first half of the season. Mansfield has played in all four games against Amarillo this season and has registered four points (2g, 2a).
Photo credit: Danne Braden