North American Hockey League tagline

OT win gives Bulls 2-1 series edge against Odessa

April 10, 2012

Luke Jenkins had a goal and an assist to help the Bulls to a Game 3 overtime win, 4-3.

Amarillo 4 @ Odessa 3 (OT) (Amarillo leads series, 2-1) - In a memorable, pulse-pounding South Division semi-final battle, the Odessa Jackalopes fell in game three of a five-game playoff series in overtime, 4-3 to the Amarillo Bulls Saturday at Ector County Coliseum. With the victory, top-seeded Amarillo took a two games to one series edge in the two teams’ South Division semi-final series.

For the third consecutive game, the Jacks scored first, when Tyler Cayemberg won a footrace to a loose puck deep in the right corner of the Amarillo zone at 11:55, swatting a wild shot over Amarillo goaltender Mike Taffe’s shoulder from an impossible angle. Then, exactly one minute later, in the aftermath of a Bulls turnover, Matt Williams and Tyller Robert found themselves on a two-on-one break and after a brilliant toe-drag move to evade the sweep check of an Amarillo defenseman, Williams found Robert in the high slot and the Maplewood, Minnesota native did the rest, banging a one-timer over Taffe’s right shoulder to double the Odessa lead.

Just like in Saturday’s game two, Amarillo scored the first goal of the second period, jumpstarting their comeback with back-to-back tallies from Luke Jenkins at 1:08 and John Gustafsson three minutes later to tie the game at two. Finding themselves in a precarious position, the Jackalopes dug deep and found their answer at 6:24 when Mikko Virtanen sent a hard wrister from the left point on Taffe and after the puck glanced off Darren Lapic’s stick, Willie Faust capitalized on the far doorstep, lifting the Jacks to a 3-2 advantage.

Faust’s score stood up for quite some time, as despite 26 third period shots, it took until the 18:44 mark of the final frame for the Bulls to even the score. With just over one minute remaining in regulation and with the net empty, Bulls defenseman Karl Beckman clapped a stinging slap-shot into a mass of bodies in front of the Odessa cage that ticked off Omar Mullan’s stick and past Jacks goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to tie the game at three and force a sudden-death overtime period.

Just 2:59 into the extra session, a similar, high-traffic play in front of the Odessa net yielded Amarillo’s game-winning tally, as John Gustafsson swatted and backhanded home a loose puck on a rebound play to deliver the Bulls a 4-3 win and a 2-1 series edge.

In another stong performance, Hellebuyck matched his own single-game Jackalopes franchise record for saves with 61 stops in the loss. Amarillo's Mike Taffe made 21 saves in the win.

Next up, the Jacks face elimination in a must-win game four, Tuesday at 7:05 pm at Ector County Coliseum. A loss in that game means Odessa’s season is over, but a victory would propel the Jacks into a decisive game five Saturday night in Amarillo.


Share on Facebook
Bauer Vaughn Custom Sports HockeyTV
USA Hockey Apex Learning Krampade Beauty Status
Lettermen Sports DASH Digital Auction Showdown K1 Sportswear OT Sports Official Game Puck Avis Car Rental
Budget Car Rental Sixt Rent A Car HockeyTech
Schwan Super Rink Minneapolis Northwest Anchorpegs Source One Digital Let's Play Hockey
USA Hockey Magazine USA Junior Hockey Magazine Rubber Hockey Magazine