Odessa Jackalopes (27-24-1-4, 59pts) vs. Amarillo Wranglers (26-27-1-2, 55pts)
at Budweiser Bull Pen in Amarillo, TX
Time: 7:05 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: (Away) HockeyTV | Listen Live Here
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 3-3
ODA: 39pts, Duclair (21g-18a)
AMW: 68pts, Skrastins (34g-34a)
Both Odessa and Amarillo only have four games remaining this season. The Jacks will play their final four games on the road. Whereas the Wranglers will be home for their final four contests. The Jacks have a road record of 12-12-0-2 and the Wranglers have a home record of 12-12-1-1. Odessa enters this weekend with one win in their last four games. As for Amarillo, they are on a four-game losing streak after being swept by Shreveport and Lone Star. The Jacks are only four points ahead of the Wranglers in the standings. While neither team can make the playoffs, both will still be playing for bragging rights as the season series concludes this weekend. The Jacks are one win away from earning the second-most wins in a season in franchise history. The Jacks best record against an opponent this season was 5-3 versus Corpus Christi. Odessa will end their season next weekend against New Mexico. They are 4-2 against the Ice Wolves this season.
Odessa has scored 180 goals this season through 56 games. That is the second-most goals in their division. Amarillo has notched 141 goals in that same span, which is the second-fewest. However, Odessa has scored 20 goals against Amarillo this season but has allowed 22. The Jacks are only +1 in goal differential. The Wranglers are -27 in that category. Only two players on the Wranglers roster have more than 23 points. There are 11 players for Odessa that have at least 23 points, eight of which are rookies. Chris Duclair leads the Jacks in goals with 21. The Wranglers, are led by Kristaps Skrastins, who has 34 goals. The player with the second-most goals for Amarillo is Glebs Prohorenkovs with 18. Odessa is tied for fifth across the NAHL in short-handed goals scored (10). Amarillo is in last with two. The Wranglers are tied for the third-fewest goals scored in the opening period this season (36). They have scored 37 goals in the final period which is the fewest in the league. Amarillo is the only team in the NAHL to have not scored 40 goals in two of the three periods. They have taken 1,601 shots so far this season which is the second-fewest in the league. They are also ranked 28th out of 29th in the NAHL in shots per game at 28.38. However, the Wranglers are one of eight teams to not have lost in regulation when leading after two periods.
Frank Dovorany and Ryan Kusler are the only players on the Jacks roster to play in all 56 games so far. Dovorany played nine of those 56 games with the Austin Bruins. The last time a Jackalopes player played in every game in a single season was Vaclav Zidek (2018-19). On the Wranglers roster Glebs Prohorenkovs, Logan Cleary, and Jayden Jensen have all played 56 games this season. Jensen spent 31 games this year with the IceRays. Not many players get the chance to play every game in a season, which goes to show how important these players are to their respective teams.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (F: #26 – Chris Duclair)
The RIT commit is in his first season in the NAHL. He currently leads the team in goals and points. The Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC native is the fourth all-time in Jackalopes history for goals as a rookie. He is also sixth all-time in points as a rookie. The 19-year-old has scored five points in the six games against Amarillo this season (2g, 3a). The 5’7”/170lb. left-handed forward has tallied five points in his last five games (3g, 2a). Duclair is ranked 15th in the NAHL among rookies in points. He leads the team in short-handed goals with four and is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals at four. His shooting percentage of 16.4% is the highest on the team. His plus/minus of +11 ranks him third on the team in that category. Also, he is averaging 0.71 points per game which is a team-high. Before reaching the NAHL, Duclair played 15 games (6g, 12a) for the Hampton Roads Whalers (USPHL Premier). He also spent from 2018-20 playing for Lac St-Louis Lions (QMAAA). He played a total of 81 games for them and registered 33 points (19g, 14a).
Wranglers (F: #15 – Kristaps Skrastins)
The University of New Hampshire commit is in his first and last season in the NAHL. The Riga, LAT native not only leads his team in goals and assists but is also tied for fifth in the league in points. The 20-year-old has the third-most goals in the NAHL. The 5’10”/180lb. right-handed forward has scored nine points in his previous five games (3g, 6a). He also has nine points in his six games against Odessa this season (4g, 5a). Skrastins won the NAHL Forward of the Month for September. He averages 1.24 points per game which is the 10th most in the league. He leads the league in shots with 253. His shooting percentage of 13.4% is the highest on the team. Skrastins also leads the team in power-play goals (14) and game-winning goals (9). His 14 power-play goals are the most in the NAHL. Before reaching the NAHL, Skrastins spent two seasons playing for HK Riga (MHL). He totaled 96 games and 52 points (27g, 25a). He was also an assistant captain for them last season. He also won a silver medal while playing for Latvia U20 (WJC-20 D1A) in 2019-20.
Photo credit: Danne Braden