THE TEAMS: Amarillo Bulls @ Odessa Jackalopes
WHERE: Ector County Coliseum, Odessa, Texas
WHEN: Tomorrow (Thursday) night, Friday and Saturday at 7 pm.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Tune into CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. The puck drop follows at 7 pm.
THE SERIES: This will serve as just the 2nd, 3rd and 4th meetings of the season between the Amarillo Bulls and the Odessa Jackalopes. The two met back on September 12 in the Texas Panhandle where the Bulls posted a 6-3 triumph. After this weekend, the two clubs will see one another again next month in Amarillo.
ALL-TIME SERIES: The Odessa Jackalopes are the Amarillo hockey’s oldest rival dating back some 19 years. The Jackalopes arrived in the Western Professional Hockey League one year after the Amarillo Rattlers did. And the Jackalopes, were part of the North American Hockey League one year after the Bulls also arrived. The Bulls and the Jacks have a long and at times one sided history on the ice. Amarillo has a mark of 36-2 in 38 all time regular season meetings. The Jackalopes snapped a 24 game losing streak by winning in January of 2014. The two teams have met once in the playoffs (2012 Robertson Cup Playoffs) and that saw the Bulls take the series 3-1 battling against now current AHL, future NHL goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck.
WEEKEND REWIND: The Amarillo Bulls and the Odessa Jackalopes are coming off drastically different weekends. The Bulls swept the Corpus Christi IceRays 5-2 and 2-1 in overtime. The Jackalopes lost 6-4 and 2-1 in Wichita Falls.
BULLS NOTES: Anton Martinsson joined Joey Molinaro as Bulls players to be chosen as South Division Players of the Week. Martinsson was on fire against the IceRays facing over 70 shots and allowing just three goals. The Bulls have allowed just one goal against in the first period of their last three games. Forwards Michael Forman, Johan Lundgren and Brady Crabtree are a combined plus eight this season. Joey Molinario has moved to within five points of the scoring lead in the North American Hockey League with 13 points.
JACKS NEWS AND NOTES: It’s been a quick start to the season for the Odessa Jackalopes as they are .500 through their first 10 games and have two wins to start their season on home ice. The Jacks have outscored their opponents 24-19 in the first 40 minutes of play. Odessa has featured a balanced scoring attack with 16 players having contributed to the offence led by Brandon Tucker and Zack Zech. The story as well has been the goaltending of Gunner Rivers who arrived in a trade with Lone Star and has posted four wins in first five starts.
ACROSS THE SOUTH: Plenty of action in the South Division this weekend. One match-up features the Lone Star Brahmas hosting the Wichita Falls Wildcats in two games in North Richland Hills. The other match up as the Topeka RoadRunners making the long trek to the Gulf Coast to face the Corpus Christi IceRays on Thursday and again on Saturday.