Jacks Comeback Falls Short, 5-3, in Arizona
PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ - Dominic Leveille and Jeff Pierce each scored less than three minutes apart in the third period to close the deficit to one, but the Arizona Sundogs held on for a 5-3 win over the Odessa Jackalopes on Wednesday night at Tim's Toyota Center.
Patrick Schafer scored an empty-net goal from center ice with nine seconds remaining to close the door on the Jacks' comeback effort. For Odessa (18-15-4), it was their first regulation loss in eight games and keeps them three points back of the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs for third place in the CHL's Berry Conference.
Leveille's goal came via a penalty shot with 4:24 left to play to make it a 4-3 score favoring the Sundogs (16-18-4). It was the second penalty shot goal for the Jackalopes this season - Leveille also scored the other one back on November 5th at Rio Grande Valley.
The opening period was an ugly one for the Odessa Jackalopes as the Sundogs scored a pair of goals to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Luke Erickson completed a 3-on-2 rush for the Dogs by redirecting Schafer's centering pass from the left circle in the net 2:47 into the contest. Mark Kolanos then scored midway through the frame to pad the Arizona lead.
Just minutes before Erickson began the scoring Odessa's Dave Van Drunen was forced to leave the game with an injury after blocking a Jamie VanderVeeken slap shot from the right point while working on the penalty kill. Van Drunen did not return.
Leveille kept the Jackalopes in it with a power play goal in the second period just 3:44 in for his 11th of the year. Sebastien Thinel placed a pass from the right-wing corner in front of the net that Leveille promptly tipped in. Todd Robinson also earned an assist on the play that resulted in the period's only goal. For Thinel, the assist gives him a point in 10 straight games, tying the team high this year which he also set.
Arizona started to pull away in the first portion of period three as rookie Jason Williams struck at 8:25 on the power play to make it 3-1, Sundogs. Erickson added a second goal to his night four minutes later to make it a three-goal cushion for Arizona before the Jackalopes started to close the gap from behind.
Pierce's goal came on a scrum to the left of the net as he jabbed home a loose puck in the crease with 7:04 to play before Leveille made it a one-goal game.
The two teams meet again on Friday for game two of their three-game set this week. Game time is set for 8:05 PM 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 is currently in the middle of its 14th season. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-PUCK or visiting jackalopes.org.
• Discuss this story on the Central Hockey League message board...
Central Hockey League Stories from January 20, 2011
- Mudbugs Drop First-Ever Meeting with Gems - Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
- Gems Win Big Over Mudbugs, 5-3 - Dayton Gems
- Americans Game Vs Killer Bees Postponed - Allen Americans
- CHL Friday's Allen/RGV Game Postponed - CHL
- Killer Bees Game Against Allen Postponed - Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
- Rush Set for Final Home Games Before Stock Show; Tickets Still Available for Rush Vs. IceMen - Rapid City Rush
- RiverKings Ready for 8th Face off Field Trip - Mississippi RiverKings
- Rush Help Raise Over $4,700 for Special Olympics - Rapid City Rush
- Bucks Start Road Trip Friday - Laredo Bucks
- PrairieThunder Weekend Preview - Bloomington PrairieThunder
- Brahmas Look to Continue Win Streak - Fort Worth Brahmas
- Mallards Game at Bloomington Originally Set for March 18 Moved to February 1 - Quad City Mallards
- Jacks Comeback Falls Short, 5-3, in Arizona - Odessa Jackalopes
- Sundogs Win Third Straight at Home, Down Jackalopes, 5-3 - Arizona Sundogs
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.