NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – After a trip to the beach and some players having their talents displayed at the North American Hockey League’s Top Prospects tournament, it’s time for the Brahmas to begin their longest home stand of the season.
THE OPPOSITION: With the playoffs exactly two months away the Odessa Jackalopes are clawing and scratching for every point possible. It’s expected to be a dogfight down the stretch between the Jacks and the Corpus Christi IceRays for the fourth and final spot in the South Division, with the two currently just one point apart.
The Jacks have two fewer games played than the ‘Rays, however over half of their games remaining in the season are on the road, a place they have struggled. Brahmaland was not kind to Odessa during their first and only trip to NYTEX thus far this season, as the Brahmas pulled off a memorable five-goal third period comeback and a resounding 4-1 win to pull off the sweep. However, momentum in the series could be leaning towards the Jacks. On Saturday, January 30th they chased the Brahmas clear out of Ector County with a 4-1 victory that seemingly stunned the team. Corbin Kaczperski was scored on four times, matching his season high for goals allowed.
In that January 30th contest, both Hampus Sjodahl and Derek Brown scored for the Jackalopes. The two are still smoking hot entering this weekend, compiling 14 points each in their last 10 games.
On the flip side of things, Jon Flakne made his season debut for Odessa that very same game and picked up a 20 save win. He then went on to win his next two starts with his new team, both over the powerhouse Wichita Falls. Just when many thought he was next to impossible to crack since joining the south, he’s been rocked in his last two appearances, allowing nine goals on 50 shots.
THE BRAHMAS: Despite being blanked to start the Corpus Christi trip, the team turned it around picking up 4/4 points in the final two games.
A large attribute to the success was scoring by defensemen. Bud Madej and Cam Clarke scored in both games and were accompanied by Dalton Skelly and Samu Suominen. While it’s terrific to see the blue line contributing, the forwards will have to do their part this weekend to ensure the team’s success.
Furthermore regarding last weekend, Conor O’Brien was forced to start all three in the Brahmas crease due to an injury sustained to Corbin Kaczperski. O’Brien gave his team a chance to win on Thursday, went the distance through a shootout on Friday, and did his part after the team’s hot first period on Saturday. While it is phenomenal to see a netminder play three games in three days, the question remains, will Kaz be good to go this weekend?
PROMOTIONS: Friday night is Ladies Night and ZuRoma Bar and Grill will have special frozen margaritas for the occasion. Additionally, ladies, if you’d like to come and have a group of ten or more, give Hunter a call at 817-520-3328 for a special rate!
Saturday is Western Heritage Night so step in to your boots, grab your lasso’s and come on down to NYTEX! There are some special events that will take place, including someone being given free Raising Cane’s for a year!
Great seats are still available for both games so click atop your screen under TICKETS, call the rink at 817-336-4ICE, or swing by and see box office wizard Scott Plourde during normal business hours!