CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Joseph Winkelman’s five point night proved to be decisive as the Odessa Jackalopes (18-25-1-1) defeated the Corpus Christi IceRays (23-23-1-0) 6-2 at the American Bank Center on Saturday night.
True to form between these two clubs this game between the Jacks and the Rays was decided by three goals or more. Only this time it was the Jackalopes who left the ice happy.
The scoring started for Odessa as Winkelmann buried a rebound in front to put the Jackalopes up 1-0.
In the second period the Jackalopes continued their scoring. John Serafin took a pass off the face-off and sent in a shot past the Corpus netminder Samuel Vyletelka to put Odessa up 2-0. The Jacks extended their lead again off of Jan Blasko’s fourth goal in the last six games.
Blasko, standing in front of the net, deflected a point shot from Browning. The puck dipped down and then bounced over Vyletelka’s glove and into the back of the net.
After that goal Vyletelka was pulled in favor of Brian George.
Entering the third period the IceRays pushed hard in the third period, while on a four-on-four situation, the Rays pulled their goalie and scored on the ensuing advantage.
With the score 3-1 the Rays pulled their goalie again but this time the Odessa Jackalopes capitalized. Brenden Coughlin shot the puck from almost his own blue line and it sailed into the back of the net to re-extend the Jackalopes to three goals.
With a 4-1 deficit, Corpus puled their goalie again, and again the Jackalopes took advantage. A shot from the left half-wall by Vilho Saariluoma was tipped into the open cage by Winkelmann to tally his second goal of the night.
Corpus once again scored another goal but it was too little too late as the Jacks went down the ice and scored again.
Taking advantage of a turnover, the Jacks rushed up on a two-one-zero. Winkelman sent a pass over to Saariluoma, who then sent a pass back to Winkelmann for a tap in and the hat trick.
With the hat trick, Winkelmann becomes the first Jackalope to score three goals in a game this season. More importantly the win keeps Odessa’s playoff hopes alive as they head into another road series against the Amarillo Bulls next weekend.