The Odessa Jackalopes had struggled of late, losing three straight heading into Friday’s North American Hockey League contest against the visiting Topeka RoadRunners.
On this night the Jackalopes were able to push those struggles aside for extended periods of time — and it was just enough.
Blake Bride scored twice for the second straight night and Odessa held off the RoadRunners 5-3 at the Ector County Coliseum.
Matt Brown, Ricky Carballo and Zach Heintz also scored for the Jackalopes (29-21-3-2), with Heintz giving the team breathing room with his empty-net marker with 32 seconds to play in the game.
Brown and Zac Herrmann each finished with two assists, with goaltender Alex Camarre stopping 44 of 47 shots on the night to earn the victory.
Justin Kelley, Chad Hillebrand and Dallas Tulik all scored for Topeka (17-33-2-2).
Like Friday’s matchup between the teams, Odessa opened the scoring on Brown’s marker just 75 seconds into the game, with Bride netting his first of the night just 6:05 into the first period. The RoadRunners, however, worked hard after that to to tie the game, 2-2, by the end of the first period on Tulik’s and Hillebrand’s markers.
After a scoreless second period, Bride put the Jackalopes up for good with a finish on a pass by Eric Huss. Carballo made it a two-goal margin with 9:09 in the third period, only to watch Kelley pull Topeka within one with 2:33 remaining to play.
That set up Heintz, who used strong defensive pressure at the Jackalopes’ blue line to create a turnover that finished in the RoadRunners’ net.
The teams conclude their three-game series at 7:11 p.m. Saturday.