Bloomington Hold on for 5-4 Win Over Jacks
BLOOMINGTON, IL - A third period, comeback bid by the Odessa Jackalopes fell short on Friday night at US Cellular Coliseum as the Bloomington Prairie Thunder held on for a 5-4 win in front of a crowd of 4,849. The Jackalopes scored a pair of goals in a four minute span, late in the final frame, to close a 5-2 deficit down to one. But with the extra attacker on the ice in the final minute, the PrairieThunder defense held tight to preserve the win.
Bloomington's Matt McIlvane scored an unassisted goal 5:22 into the third period for the Thunder's three-goal cushion. It was Odessa's Darryl Bootland with a one-timer from the slot at 10:17 and Sebastien Thinel's rebound goal with six minutes to play that pushed the game to the limit.
The Jackalopes opened the game's scoring when Mike Lesperance deflected Phil Plante's shot from the right point at 6:32 for a power play goal. Bloomington responded with goals from Travis Granbois and John Snowden to make it a 2-1, Thunder lead at the end of the first. Granbois' goal came on a bad angle shot from the left side of the net and Snowden scored on a wrap-around effort that just crossed the goal line inside the right post.
Odessa tied the game just 1:43 into the second period off Michael Schutte's point shot, but Anthony Ciraulo put the Thunder back on top just six minutes later. Bill Bagron added a power play goal for Bloomington with just under a minute remaining to make it a 4-2, Thunder lead after two periods of play.
Joel Martin made 33 saves in his first game back for the Jackalopes since returning from the AHL. Emond was credited with the win for Bloomington after a 27 save effort.
The loss drops Odessa to 1-2-0 on the season, while the PrairieThunder improved to 2-0-0.
Thinel finished the game with a goal and an assist, pulling him to within two points of 600 in his pro career. Bootland's tally also put him one point away from 250 in pro tenure.
Prior to their game against Bloomington, the Jackalopes added forward Malcolm Gwilliam to their roster and placed forward Brady Leisenring on the 10-day IR. Gwilliam is wearing #11 for the Jackalopes and joins the team after a five-year career at Michigan Tech where he scored 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points last season, before joining the ECHL's Reading Royals for five games. Leisenring appeared in Odessa's first game this season scoring a goal.
The Jacks wrap up their season opening road trip on Saturday against the Dayton Gems. Game time is set for 6:30 CST and 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 will begin its 14th season in the Permian Basin in October 2010. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-PUCK or visiting jackalopes.org.
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