Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lee Jubinville is swamped by his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal - Note the location of the puck
(click to enlarge)

Odessa Who?

Brahmas win eighth straight; down Jackalopes 3-1

Faster than a speeding bullet? No. More powerful than a steaming locomotive? No. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? No. Look, on the ice, it's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a...Jackalope! So what's all the hubbub about these supposed West Texas Supermen?

The Texas Brahmas reminded the Odessa Jackalopes why they are the league champions tonight with a 3-1 throttling at the NYTEX Sports Center. In front of a standing room only crowd of 2,444, Brett Jaeger stopped 35 of 36 shots faced to win his (and the Brahmas') eighth game in a row.

"The last three or four weeks, [Jaeger has] taken his game to that next level, where he was last year," Brahmas forward Jason Deitsch told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He gives us a chance to win every night."

With the win, the Brahmas record goes to 28-17-5 with 61 points, good enough for another (endless) two point lead over the Laredo Bucks.

For the audience, the game was everything you would expect from two championship caliber teams. The Brahmas had all the momentum in the first period, out shooting the Jacks 14-6, but Joel Martin was solid in net and their was no score after 20 minutes.

The majority of the penalties were assessed in the second frame and the Jackalopes had the shot advantage at 14-9 but Brett Jaeger could not be solved and after 40 minutes, we were still scoreless.

Things changed in the third period. The Brahmas took a 1-0 lead when Scott Thauwald directed a bad-angle feed from the left wing corner into the net at the 7:16 mark. Nathan Perrott and Matt Pierce were credited with the assists.

Less than two minutes later, Lee Jubinville made it a 2-0 contest after a wild play for the puck in front of the goal crease. Tyler Skworchinski fell down and the puck was shielded by his body. Players for both teams searched feverishly but Jubinville got his stick on the puck first and sent it home for the score at the 9:00 mark. Ross Rouleau and James Hiebert were in on the assist.

With Nathan Perrott in the penalty box for High Sticking, Mike Lesperance cut the Brahmas lead in half, taking the puck the length of the ice and snapping a wrister past Brett Jaeger for Odessa's only score of the game at the 9:38 mark.

Later in the period, with Joel Martin pulled in favor of an extra attacker, Tyler Skworchinski took possession of the puck and to the delight of the crowd, skated in and added the empty net marker at the 19:05 mark to settle the final score at 3-1.

Brett Jaeger made 35 saves on 36 shots and earned the win. His record goes to 17-10-1-2. Joel Martin made 31 saves on 33 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 19-6-2-1.

The Brahmas went zero for seven on the power play. Odessa went one for six. The Brahmas were assessed 12 minutes on six infractions. The Jackalopes received 14 minutes on seven infractions.

The 3rd Star of the game went to Odessa Goalie Joel Martin who had a great performance in net - for two periods. The 2nd Star was awarded to Lee Jubinville, who scored the game-winning goal and the 1st Star, once again, went to the amazing Brett Jaeger for another stellar performance in net.

You can view the box score

You can view my photos from the game here

  • The Brahmas are up two points on the Bucks but have the opportunity to go up by six if they win tomorrow at Wichita and Tuesday at Bossier-Shreveport. The Bucks won't play again until Thursday the 25th at Allen.
  • With a 19-5-1 home record, the Brahmas are seven wins away from matching last season's record of 26-5-1 at NYTEX. With six in a row at the shoebox, anything is possible. The remaining home games are against Corpus Christi, Missouri, Laredo, Rapid City, Allen, Laredo and Bossier-Shreveport, in that order.
  • Kevin McLeod is second among all CHL defensemen in goals scored with 14. AJ Gale is third among all rookies in goals with 14 and first with five power play goals.
  • Brett Jaeger is second in the league with a 2.37 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He is fifth in wins with 17, sixth with games played at 29 and now leads all CHL goalies with 42 Star Points.
  • Luke Sellars had an injury to his right leg tonight and is questionable against Wichita tomorrow.
  • The Reliant Energy sweaters were auctioned off upstairs before the boys boarded the bus for Wichita. Brett Jaeger's took the highest bid at $700 and Stuart Fraser used a proxy to buy Joe Palmer's.
The Brahmas are on their way to Wichita as I speak and will play the Thunder for the first time at the new Intrust Bank arena at 5:05pm CST. You can watch it on CHL-TV or check out the Game Live feed on Pointstreak.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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