Wichita Falls Warriors (26-15-5-3, 60pts) vs. Odessa Jackalopes (25-20-1-4, 55pts)
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: 3-3
WFW: 48pts, Robinson (20g-28a)
ODA: 34pts, Duclair (18g-16a)
The month of March is not only chaotic for the NCAA but also for the NAHL. The Warriors have one game in hand on Odessa and sit five points above them. All three victories for the Jacks over the Warriors have come when Odessa scored at least three goals. The Jacks still have two games left against the Shreveport Mudbugs (April 1-2), who are only two points ahead of them in the standings. Also, Odessa is only four points in front of Amarillo and will conclude the season series with them on April 8-9. Wichita Falls is in its second season in the NAHL and is looking to make the playoffs for the second-straight year. Last season in the playoffs, the Warriors swept the Lone Star Brahmas in the first round (3-0). Eight of the final ten games for Odessa will be against teams currently in a playoff position.
Top to Bottom:
The Warriors have seven players with over 30 points. Chris Duclair is the only Jackalopes player with more than 30 points. Wichita Falls not only has the most goals in the South with 173 but they also rank 10th in the league in scoring. Their goal differential of +46 is the second-best in the South and is the fifth-best in the NAHL. The Warriors finished third in goals last season with 171 in 56 games. Wichita Falls has three defensemen ranked inside their top-ten in points. Odessa’s top-ten is comprised of all forwards.
No one in the NAHL is better than Wichita Falls on the powerplay. The Warriors enter this weekend with a 29.3% success rate while on the man-advantage. Their 46 power-play goals are the most in the league. The Warriors have seven players with at least four power-play goals this season. J.R. Perdion and Justin Hughes are tied for the most on the Jacks roster with four. Odessa has 24 power-play goals which are tied for the third-fewest in the league. The Jacks powerplay is ranked 27th in the NAHL with a success rate of 14.2%. The Warriors have 834 penalty minutes this season which is the third-fewest in the South. Odessa has the second-fewest with 772.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Warriors (D: #8 – Vincent Corcoran)
The Plainfield, IL native is currently in his third year in the NAHL. His first start was with the Topeka Pilots in 2019-20 after they drafted him #164 overall. He played 52 games in his rookie season and had 11 points (5g, 6a). Last season, the 5’8”/165lb. left-handed defenseman was one of the assistant captains for the Warriors. He played 54 games last season and tallied 31 points (4g, 27a). Putting him third on the team in points. The 20-year-old is now the captain for the Warriors and is currently third on the team in points with 39 (5g, 34a). Corcoran leads his team in power-play assists. He also has taken the third-most shots on the team with 111. The Bemidji State University commit has five assists during his current four-game point streak. Corcoran won NAHL Defenseman of the Month for January 2021. Last year, he won NAHL (South) Defenseman of the Year along with making the NAHL All-South Division Team. Corcoran has played in all six games against Odessa this season and has scored seven points (1g, 6a).
Jackalopes (F: #26 – Chris Duclair)
The Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC native is in his first season in the NAHL. Before joining the Jackalopes, Duclair played for the Hampton Roads Whalers in the USPHL. He registered 18 points in 15 games (6g, 12a). From 2018-20, Duclair played for the Lac St-Louis Lions (QMAAA). Over the course of two years, he played 81 games and scored 33 points (19g, 14a). The 19-year-old currently leads Odessa in points with 34. He is second in goals with 18 and is tied for third in assists with 16. Duclair leads the team in short-handed goals with four and is tied with Dayne Hoyord for the best shooting percentage on the team at 15.8%. The 5’7”/170lb. left-handed forward is on a two-game point streak (1g, 1a). His 18th goal gave him the fifth-most by a rookie in Jackalopes history. The RIT commit has played in all six games against Wichita Falls and has produced five points (1g, 4a).
Photo credit: Danne Braden