Odessa Jackalopes (24-17-1-4, 53pts) vs. Shreveport Mudbugs (22-17-1-4, 49pts)
at George’s Pond Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, LA
Time: 7:11 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: HockeyTV | Listen Live Here
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 4-0
ODA: 32pts, Duclair (17g-15a)
SHV: 36pts, Brimmer (12g-24a)
The only South Division team that the Jacks have not lost to this season is Shreveport. The most wins Odessa has had in a single season versus the Mudbugs was in 2018-19 (6). The Jacks have scored 17 goals on Shreveport this season and have allowed five. The Jacks only have one shutout this season and that came back on Oct. 1st against Shreveport (5-0). This will be the last time that the Jacks travel to Shreveport during the regular season. These two teams will close out their season series on the first weekend of April at the Ector County Coliseum. The Mudbugs have been in the NAHL since 2016-17 and have never missed the playoffs. Their worst regular-season finish was when covid canceled the season (4th). They have won two Robertson Cup Championships and in each of those years, they finished first in the South Division. The last time Odessa played Shreveport was Thanksgiving weekend.
All or Nothing:
While the Jacks had last weekend off, the Mudbugs did not. Shreveport swept Corpus Christi and is now within four points of Odessa and Wichita Falls. The Mudbugs have also played the fewest number of games in the South (44). While this is a normal two-game weekend for Odessa, the Mudbugs are playing a 3-in-3 with their final game being against New Mexico on Sunday. Odessa still must play Amarillo and New Mexico four more times, as well as a weekend series with the Warriors. While the Jacks have been in a playoff spot since October, there are now teams closing in on them. Meaning this weekend is crucial to pick up points and not give any to Shreveport. The Jacks have scored a goal in every game this season and have also picked up a point during every weekend series. They are tied with the Warriors for the second-most goals in the South (154). The Mudbugs have 118 goals which are the third-fewest in the division.
Odessa has 718 penalty minutes this season which is the second-fewest in their division. Shreveport has 961 which is the second-most in the South. The most penalty minutes that the Mudbugs have had in one season was back in 2018-19 (1,357). As for Odessa, their most was in 2016-17 (1,683). The Jacks have never had a season with less than 1,000 PIMS. The Jacks have scored 22 power-play goals this season which is the fourth-fewest in the NAHL. They have a power-play success rate of 14.7% which ranks them 26th in the league. The last time the Jacks did not allow a power-play goal was on Feb. 4th versus Corpus Christi. Their penalty kill is ranked 22nd in the NAHL (78.5%). Shreveport has scored 21 power-play goals which are the third-fewest and they have the second-worst power play in the league (13.3%). Their penalty kill is at 83.7% which puts them in seventh.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (F: #19 – Dayne Hoyord)
The Scandinavia, WI native is in his second year in the NAHL and is tied with three other teammates for the second-most points on the team (27). He leads the team in goals with 18. His four game-winning goals are also a team-high. So far this season the 19-year-old has scored two hat-tricks and scored a goal at the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. Hoyord has played in all four games against Shreveport and has tallied three points (1g, 2a). He also was awarded honorable mention for the February Forward of the Month after recording eight points (6g, 2a) in eight games. The 5’10”/195lb. right-handed forward was drafted #252 overall in 2019 by the Springfield Jr. Blues. Last year was Hoyord’s first in the NAHL and he finished fourth on the team in points (7g, 12a). Before reaching the NAHL, Hoyord played 48 games for the Northern Cyclones (NCDC) and registered 41 points (12g, 29a). Hoyord is three games away from reaching 100 games played in the NAHL.
Mudbugs (G: #29 – Devon Bobak)
The Northwood, OH native is in his first and last year of junior hockey in the NAHL. The 20-year-old is ranked third among goalies with a goals-against-average of 2.10. His save percentage of .918% puts him in a tie for seventh. The 6’4”/195lb. left-handed goalie has a season record of 18-9-1-3. His 18 wins put him in a tie for fifth. He has the third-most shutouts with five. Bobak has a record of 0-2-1 versus Odessa this season (11GA). He has had two-win streaks reach at least five games this season. Bobak has been named South Division Star of the Week twice this season and was named NAHL Goaltender of the Month for January. Before joining the NAHL, Bobak played for the Twin City Thunder in the NCDC (3.45GAA, .896SV%, 1SO, 7-8).
Photo credit: Danne Braden