Unlike last night when everything the Brahmas threw at net seemed to go off the pipes, tonight they were finding the back of the net. It started at 4:53 off an Alexey Solovyev bomb from the high slot. Yoshihiro Kuroiwa kicked it to the boards where Michael Crowley controlled it and sent it right back to Solovyev at the blueline. Solovyev’s wrister through traffic was blocked, but Ryan Watson was on the doorstep to deposit the puck into the net. Lone Star added to the lead at 11:16 starting with another shot from the point. This time it was Kellen Wasell who got things started with a big shot from the near side that bounced off Kuroiwa and out the far side. Johan Steen used a long reach to corral the puck and sent a backhander toward net for Conner Enciso to bury. Matt Lison wrapped up the first period scoring at 16:47 off a faceoff in the offensive zone. Austin Thielges‘ wrister went off the outside of the net and to the end boards. Jan Hudecek feathered it back out front to Lison and he put it over the right pad for the three goal lead.
The second period was a better one for Odessa, but Jett Salinas was up to the challenge making some god saves to keep the Jackalopes off the board. Liam Stirtzinger was whistled for a slash with just 49 seconds to go in the period. The Brahmas made it through the remainder of the middle frame giving Odessa 1:11 of powerplay to open the third on fresh ice.
The Brahmas killed off the balance of the Stirtzinger penalty to open the third and looked to be setting on the lead. They went on a powerplay of their own at 4:32, but it was Odessa who scored with the special teams. Trace Jablin picked Gordie Helmuth’s pocket in front of the Brahmas bench, walked around Donovan Gardiner and in alone on Salinas for the unassisted short handed goal at 6:12. With the penalty about to expire the Brahmas had time for one more rush. Hudecek picked the puck up behind Salinas and went streaking up the ice into the offensive zone. As he made a move to step around Andrew McLean, McLean once more went for the knee leaving Hudecek in a heap on the ice as play went back the other way. At 9:25 Odessa had a draw to Salinas’ left and Razmuz Waxin-Engback pulled it back to Cody Slocum at the point. Slocum walked the blueline then fired a shot off a defenders stick and over Salinas’ right shoulder to pull the Jackalopes within one. However, that is as close as Odessa would get, but not for lack of effort. With just five seconds to go in the game Connor Chambers made a great move entering the zone to get behind the defense. Chambers went unimpeded to the front of the net, but Salinas stoned him with a big pad save to preserve the win and the sweep.
Officially shots on goal were 28 – 19 in favor of Odessa. Both teams were 0 – 3 on the powerplay.
Elsewhere Around the NAHL South
Corpus Christi at Rio Grande
The Icerays got an unassisted first period goal from Kyle Froese and then settled into a defensive battle to hold on for the 1 – 0 win. The penalty kills for both teams played a major part in the game with Corpus Christi going 0 – 6 on the powerplay while Rio Grande was 0 – 7. Despite the large number of minutes played with the man advantage shots on goal were only 20 – 13 in favor of the Killer Bees. Forbes Ploszaj was in net to pick up the win.
Springfield at Topeka
The Jr Blues and Road Runners played 65 minutes of scoreless hockey needing a shootout to determine the winner. Despite not being able to solve Drew Vogler in regulation and overtime, Springfield put three pucks past him in the shootout to get the 1 – 0 win. Stefanos Lekkas made 45 saves through overtime and then stopped all three that he faced in the shootout.