Americans Take Game One, 4-3
(Odessa, TX) - Thirty-four saves by Allen American's goaltender, Chris Whitley, was the difference as game one of the Southern Conference Finals went to Allen, 4-3, over the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday night at the Ector County Coliseum.
Jarret Lukin also scored a pair of goals in the game for the Americans.
The Jackalopes opened up a 2-1 lead in an entertaining first period that featured 25 combined shots. Sebastien Thinel tallied a power play goal at 2:40 on a loose puck on the right side of the net. Allen then tied the game as Jarret Lukin scored a rebound in front of the goal crease at 15:44. Odessa then regained the lead with just eight seconds remaining in the period as Phil Plante took a feed from Dominic Leveille and scored a power play goal along the left goal post.
The Americans controlled period two, scoring a pair of goals off awkward bounces. Nino Musitelli scored at 12:32 when his wrist shot from the left circle was blocked, but ended up right back on his stick and the second effort found the back of the net. Lukin then scored his second goal of the game at 15:15 when his centering pass from the right-wing corner off a Joel Martin save actually bounced off the Jackalopes goaltender and in the net to make it a 3-2 score.
Odessa won the third period, but gave up a costly shorthanded goal to Mike Salekin at 7:22 to make it 4-2, Allen. Mike Ramsay pulled Odessa to back within one with a power strike from the point at 7:56. Whitley carried the Americans the rest of the way, stopping 18 of 19 Odessa shots in the third period.
Game two of the Southern Conference Finals will be on Saturday in Odessa at 7:05 PM. The action can be heard on Classic Rock 102.1 FM.
The Odessa Jackalopes are the Central Hockey League affiliate for the NHL's New York Islanders and the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The team is in the middle of their 13th season in the Permian Basin. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-PUCK or visiting jackalopes.org.
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