Preview: IceRays @ Odessa Jackalopes (Game 24)


Two Streaks Prolonged in Overtime Loss

Yesterday’s matchup had heroes on both sides who showed flashes of brilliance to put their team in a position to win. On Odessa’s side, Matt Brown’s highlight reel goal and Ricky Carballo’s overtime game-winner in his Jackalopes debut were ultimately what carried them to victory. However, the latter would not have been needed had it not been for Larry Jungwirth’s clutch snipe with just seven seconds left in regulation.

Had Jungwirth not tied the score, Odessa would now have sole possession of fourth place and the IceRays’ longest point streak of the season would have ended at six games. Instead, they remain tied with one another in the South Division, and the Rays further separated themselves from Topeka. Jungwirth also tied Amarillo’s Jon Russell as the only other player in the NAHL this season to score a goal in seven consecutive outings. With 12 goals in his last seven, Jungwirth is on the longest active goal-scoring streak in the league and can become the first player in over two years to make it eight (Tyler Cline, MNW, Oct. 2015).


The Matchup

While the Rays are still seeking their first win against Odessa this season, last night surely could have been it. In the opening stages of the game, they were the better team and probably should have had more than a single goal to show for it in the first 20 minutes. Rylee St. Onge and Matt Novo had goals waived off, St. Onge was denied on a great kick save on a breakaway, and Matt Acciaioli slipped a backhand shot through Alex Camarre but it just missed the net.

As a result, they were forced to come from behind throughout the night. While they succeeded three times in tying the score, they never lead. Jacob Acton had an outstanding second period, stopping 19 of 20 shots. However, the night was simply too chock-full of offensive opportunities for either goaltender to keep the score down indefinitely. Now that there is more familiarity on both fronts, it is natural to expect a lower scoring tilt tonight. Fourth place is still ripe for the taking, and even the potential for tying Amarillo for third looms in the midst.


Up-Tempo Offense Continues

There was little doubt the IceRays would have a response after being shut out in back-to-back nights by Amarillo back at the end of October. However, they’ve been putting pucks in the back of the net at an absurd rate ever since. They’ve scored 4.29 goals per game since being blanked by the Bulls on October 28th, and were the first team all season to put seven past Lone Star in a single weekend.

Without question, the IceRays have been the hottest offensive team in November. They haven’t been held to less than three scores once all month. Unless their attack comes to a grinding halt, Odessa will have their hands full once again. However, the Jackalopes introduced a colossal scoring threat last night themselves.


Somoza-Frantti-Carballo

A single line was responsible for four of Odessa’s five goals last night. Making his Jackalopes debut, Ricky Carballo found instant chemistry with his line-mates and ended up scoring the game-winner in overtime. Evan Somoza had a second straight two-goal performance against the Rays, and Peyton Frantti was heavily involved in setting his wingers up with chances all over the ice. All three of them had a three-point evening and each were named the three stars of the game.

Shutting them down will be paramount tonight for Corpus Christi, as they were Odessa’s primary scoring threat all throughout last night’s tilt. With the run support the Rays have had over the last four weeks, keeping pucks out of their own net will put them in a great spot to continue their seven-game point streak.