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Thursday results: Odessa helps playoff chances with win

March 16, 2012

New Mexico 2 @ Odessa 6 - On a night in which 4th place Corpus Christi found themselves idle, as the suddenly streaking Odessa Jackalopes the New Mexico Mustangs, 6-2 on Thursday at Ector County Coliseum to draw within four points of the ‘Rays for the final South Division playoff spot. With the win, Odessa’s fourth in a row and sixth in seven games, the Jacks improved to 23-25-5 and eclipsed the 50-point mark for the first time in 2011-12.  After a plodding pace to start the game, while killing a penalty, the Jacks struck first when Lawrence Cornellier forced a turnover in his own zone, then streaked the length of the ice on a breakaway and beat New Mexico goaltender Randy Graham five-hole for Cornellier’s tenth goal of the season.  Leading 1-0 after the first period, the Jacks cranked up the heat in the second, rattling off four unanswered goals from Ryan Doucet, Mikko Virtanen, Darren Lapic and Tyller Robert in the frame, after allowing a Chuck Baldwin power-play goal to briefly tie the game at 1:30. For Doucet, the tally was his ninth of the season and third in the past two games while Virtanen’s score was his first marker of the year and both Robert and Lapic scored for the second time in Odessa’s past three contests.  With the game firmly in their grasp at 5-1 entering the third period, the Jacks kept the pressure, extending their lead to 6-1 on a Tyler Cayemberg score less than one minute into the frame off a Josh Obregon wrist shot from the near-side wall. New Mexico finally answered back midway through the period, but a late tally from Nolan Culver at 13:42 was too little, too late for the last-place Mustangs.  Odessa netminder Connor Hellebuyck turned in a solid, 29 save performance to earn his 22nd win of the season. Boxscore

Jamestown 1 @ Traverse City 4 – Sean Murphy scored twice and goaltender Zach Nagelvoort made 24 saves as the North Stars handled the Ironmen at home, 4-1.  After a scoreless 1st period, Murphy got the North Stars on the board first early in the 2nd period with an unassisted goal.  Lance Fredrickson added the second goal three minutes later to make it 2-0.  Luc Gerdes brought Jamestown within a goal early in the 3rd period on the power play, but two more goals by Nathan Harris and Murphy sealed the win for the North Stars. Boxscore

Aberdeen 3 @ Minot 2 – Cory Ward’s flair for the dramatic continued as he scored with less than four minutes remaining in the game to give Aberdeen a 3-2 road win in Minot on Thursday night.  Minot got on the board first with a goal from Seth Blair, but that was counted by a goal from Aberdeen’s CJ Reuschlein.  Kevin Becker gave the visitors a 2-1 lead before Brian Farkas tied the game at 2-2 setting up Ward’s heroics.  Jake Hebda made 32 saves in the loss, while Reid Mimmack made 23 saves in the win. Boxscore

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