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Jacks move into playoff position with 2-0 shutout win

March 22, 2012

Connor Hellebuyck denies a shot from Renato Engler on Wednesday as Odessa picked up a 2-0 shutout win over Wichita Falls (photo by Patrick Johnston, Times Record News).

Odessa 2 @ Wichita Falls 0 - In the first game of a season-ending, five-game road trip, the Odessa Jackalopes extended their season-long winning streak to seven games Wednesday, defeating the Wichita Falls Wildcats 2-0 at Kay Yeager Coliseum.

With the victory, the Jackalopes improved to 26-25-5 overall and with 57 points, pulled into fourth place alone in the NAHL’s South Division standings, two points clear of the Corpus Christi IceRays for the South Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.

After a scoreless first period, the Jackalopes took a 1-0 lead at 13:16 of the middle frame when Ryan Atkinson wired a Taylor Portner feed past Wildcats netminder Matt Leon on the power-play. Then, just over one minute into the third period, the Jacks padded their edge when Portner poked home a power-play goal of his own, his seventh tally of the season.

Despite a determined effort down the stretch from the Wildcats, the Jackalopes stood tall, riding a 24-save performance from Connor Hellebuyck to a shutout win, Hellebuyck’s third of the season. The Jacks’ two power-play goals tied a season-high for man-advantage tallies in a game and with the win, the Jacks improved to 6-0-1 head-to-head against Wichita Falls this season.

Next up for the Jacks, it’s a Saturday night showdown with the Amarillo Bulls with the opening faceoff set for 7:05 pm at Cal Farley Coliseum at Amarillo Civic Center.


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