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NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE: Jackalopes blanked in return home - Odessa American: Special Sections

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NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE: Jackalopes blanked in return home

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Posted: Friday, March 12, 2021 12:01 am

The Odessa Jackalopes began their three-game home series with a tough 4-0 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas in North American Hockey League action Thursday night at Ector County Coliseum.

The Brahmas improved to 24-11-1, moving into first place in the NAHL South Division with 49 points, one point better than Shreveport.

Playing in front of a home crowd for the first time in more than a month, the Jackalopes (8-23-2-2) remained in last place with 20 points as they were outshot 24-14.

“It’s a pretty helpless feeling,” Odessa head coach Jason Fortier said. “It’s a constant battle of asking for effort, asking for execution of details, asking for playing structure that’s going to give us a chance to win. The structure begins and ends with effort.”

The game got off to a slow start as neither team generated many quality chances.

Lone Star eventually found the back of the net courtesy of a Blake Benson goal with 12:06 left in the first period to give the Brahmas a 1-0 lead, which is how the first period ended as Odessa could not find the equalizer despite a few decent looks late in the period.

The second period began with the Brahmas coming out on the attack, forcing Jackalopes goaltender Conner Hasley to make a few saves.

A penalty on the Jackalopes’ Stephen Perez soon led to the Brahmas’ second goal of the night, a power-play goal by Andrew DeCarlo five minutes into the period.

Odessa did gain some momentum in the form of a power play after Lone Star’s Alex Murray was penalized for holding with eight minutes left in the period.

The hosts couldn’t make anything of the opportunity, though, and it wasn’t long before the Brahmas were back on the other end of the ice, adding to their lead as Caige Sterzer made it 3-0 with 4:36 left.

Joey Baez added a fourth goal for Lone Star with two minutes remaining in the third period.

The Jackalopes will return to the ice with a 7:15 p.m. contest Friday for the second game in the series.

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAmichaelba

Odessa, TX

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