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Circelli Sends Jacks To Next Round In Overtime

April 6, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Odessa Jackalopes News Release

(N. Richland Hills, TX) - Collin Circelli's overtime winner sent the Odessa Jackalopes to the Conference Finals as the team beat the Texas Brahmas, 5-4, on Monday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre. The finish give the Odessa Jackalopes a 4-2 win in the best-of-seven series.

Jeff Pierce and Garrett Gruenke tallied the assists on Circelli's game-winner at 2:04 of the first overtime. Circelli drove the net after Texas turned the puck over at their blue line. It marks the second straight season that Odessa has lost the first two games of a Conference Semifinal series at home, only to win four straight and advance.

The Jackalopes forced overtime after scoring a pair of third period goals to eliminate a 4-2 deficit. Kory Karlander netted a power play goal from the front of the net at 5.04. Sebastien Thinel tied the game at 7:38 when he lifted a backhand shot into the top corner.

Both teams traded goals in the first period as Kenny Bernard and Jeff Pierce each scored for Odessa. Jason Deitch and Lee Jubinville both scored for Texas.

The Brahmas picked up the play in period two as Deitch scored his second of the game at 3:01 to make it 3-2, Texas. Jordan Cameron made it 4-2 at 15:57 when he took the puck from the left-wing corner, around the boards, then through the right circle before depositing a backhand shot past Juha Toivonen. Texas held the two-goal lead entering the break to set up Odessa's late heroics.

Joel Martin replaced Toivonen in the third period and finished the game with just four saves, but recorded the win. Toivonen stopped 16 of 20 in net.

The series win for Odessa marks just the third time in CHL history that a team won the first two games of a series on the road only to lose the series. Odessa defeated Laredo in 2009. New Mexico topped Arizona in 2007. Texas won the first two games of the series in Odessa to take a 2-0 series lead before Odessa's comeback with four straight wins.

The Jackalopes await the winner of the Laredo-Allen series for their next round opponent. Laredo travels to Allen on Tuesday for game six with a 3-2 series lead. All playoff games for the Jackalopes can be heard on Classic Rock 102.1. Tickets for the Conference Final round are available by calling (432) 552-7825.

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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