The Texas Brahmas were soundly defeated by the Odessa Jackalopes tonight at the Ector County Coliseum by a score of 4-2. Odessa controlled the tempo of the game throughout and out shot the Brahmas in each period with a 40-21 advantage in the game. It was the second win for Odessa out of the three games played between the two teams so far this season. It was also their eighth win in a row.
With the loss, the Brahmas record goes to 15-11-5 with 35 points. They remain in third place in the Southern Conference.
It was pretty slow paced start for the two teams who have not met since Brett Jaeger looked sharp early in the period as he made some excellent saves.
The CHL-TV broadcast was dark and grainy and hard to watch. Brien Rea did a great job (with his incredibly biased) broadcasting on the Jack-FM simulcast. The Jacks were wearing ridiculously ugly tuxedo sweaters tonight - they looked like a bunch of tall penguins a la Tennessee Tuxedo for you readers old enough to remember that cartoon (guess who would be Chumley).
The Ector County Coliseum looked nearly empty except for a few pockets of fans in attendance. Attendance was claimed at 2,567 but I think 2,000 people had other things to do. It looks like the boards have been re-surfaced and covered with new advertiser banners - a good sign. Those boards looked horrible last season.
Scott Thauwald skated in on a breakaway, weaving through traffic on his way to the net. He took a shot which Juha Toivonen stopped and then was hooked as he went for the rebound that appeared to cross the goal line. However, referee Jon McIssac waived it off because there was a player in the crease and goaltender interference. Now, I never saw another player in the crease and I suppose you can call goalie interference on Thauwald for falling on Toivonen after being hooked by a Jackalope defender, but maybe I'm just making Brien Rea-style excuses.
Odessa got the first score at the 14:44 mark when Alex Dunn's wrister from the right circle bounced off the end boards in front of the crease where Kory Karlander was waiting to send it past a diving Brett Jaeger, who found himself out of position to make the save. Sebastien Thinel was also credited with the assist.
Less than two minutes later, Dominic Leveille scored his ninth of the year with a wrist shot that hit the cross bar and went right over the shoulder of Jaeger. Kenny Bernard and Dave Van Drunen assisted.
Odessa was called for four successive penalties but the Brahmas were unable to capitalize on the ensuing man-advantages. Odessa had one power play opportunity but also failed to score. The period ended with a 10-6 shot advantage for Odessa who took the 2-0 lead into the locker room.
With Tyler Skworchinski in the penalty box for Hooking, Brahmas on the board when he took possession of a deflected puck along the boards. Burto skated it up the middle unassisted, firing from between the circles past Toivonen to make it 2-1 at the 7:35 mark.
James Hiebert and Jean Bourbeau mixed it up in front of the Odessa bench just over four minutes later. Hiebert got the best of Bourbeau, who seemed unwilling to defend himself for the most part. Both would receive five-minute Fighting Majors. Bourbeau also received two minutes for High Sticking. Hiebert received two minutes for Roughing.
Later, Alex Dunn forced a turnover and sent the puck to Mike Ramsay whose centering pass was picked up by Collin Circelli. Circelli redirected the puck past Jaeger to give the Jacks a two goal lead once again at the 13:40 mark.
I'm not sure what started it, but Nathan Perrott and Patrick Mbaraga wrestled briefly in front of the net and both were sent into the sin bin for two minute Roughing calls at the 15:43 mark. Mbaraga appeared to be bleeding from the mouth (or maybe he was wearing lipstick, I couldn't tell).
Odessa had a 16-6 shot advantage in the middle frame and once again, went into the locker room with a two goal lead.
Scott Thauwald scored the second short-handed goal of the night off a feed from Jason Deitsch 1:08 into the third period to make it a 3-2 game.
The Jacks would capitalize on a four minute penalty on Deitsch (two minutes for Hooking; two minutes Unsportsmanlike Conduct) when Kory Karlander, fighting for position in front of the net, fired a shot past Jaeger to make it 4-2 at the 7:53 mark. Alex Dunn and Kenny Bernard assisted.
Dan Wildfong pulled Brett Jaeger in favor of the extra attacker, but to no avail. Jason Deitsch (Cross Checking) and Dave Van Drunen (Roughing) were sent to the locker room 10 seconds early after a pile up behind the Odessa net.
The shot count was 14-9 in favor of Odessa in the final frame
With the loss, Brett Jaeger’s record goes to 7-8-1. Juha Toivonen made 19 saves on 21 shots and earned the win. His record goes to 11-3-1-1.
The Brahmas went zero for six on the power play. Odessa went one for nine. The Brahmas were assessed 27 minutes on 12 infractions. Odessa was assessed 23 minutes on 10 infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Collin Circelli for game-winning goal in the second. The 2nd Star was awarded to Alex Dunn who had three assists and the 1st Star went to Kory Karlander who had two goals on the night.
You can view the box score here
- The Brahmas were without defensemen Craig Minard, Justin Kinnunen, Kevin McLeod and Tyrell Mason as well as forward Lee Jubinville.
- The loss was mitigated somewhat by a 5-3 Corpus Christi win over the Laredo Bucks. Allen beat Wichita, so they now have a seven point lead over the Brahmas for second place.
- The Brahmas continue to lead the league with 11 short-handed goals.
The Brahmas return home tomorrow to prepare for Saturday night's home game against the Colorado Eagles.
Photo Credit: Robert Keith