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NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE: Corpus Christi scores two late goals in win over Jackalopes

Mar. 15—No lead was safe for the Odessa Jackalopes against Corpus Christi on Friday night at Ector County Coliseum.

The Jackalopes gave up a two-goal lead evaporate in the second period and then surrendered two goals in the in the final minutes of the game in their 4-3 loss to the IceRays.

Just less than two minutes after equalizing and with 18.11 seconds left in regulation, Corpus Christi's Zakhar Polshakov managed to slip the puck past Odessa goalie Maksim Bely for the game-winning goal as the IceRays crashed the Jackalopes' party.

Playing in the start of a two-game series at home, the Jackalopes fell to 21-25-5-2 while Corpus Christi improved to 17-31-2-3.

Odessa remains in seventh place in the North American Hockey League South Division standings with 49 points while Corpus Christi still sits in eighth with 39.

"I just thought we gave that game away," Odessa head coach Scott Deur said. "I thought we had control for most of the night. We outshot them."

Odessa finished with 44 shots while Corpus Christi had 30.

The Jackalopes led 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 after the second period but couldn't hang on in the closing minutes of the third.

The Jackalopes got off to a perfect start, scoring two goals within the first eight minutes of the game.

Thomas Wright was the first to find the back of the net, scoring just 3:18 into the contest to put the Jackalopes in front.

Five minutes later, it was James Richman, with an assist from Braden Pietila, who doubled the lead for the hosts.

Odessa would outshoot Corpus Christi in the first period, 13-9.

The Jackalopes continued their attack in the second period as Hayden DeMars had a few opportunities to make it 3-0 but was denied by a determined performance by Corpus Christi goalie Bryant Marks.

More scoring chances came for the Jackalopes as they were gifted numerous power play opportunities in the period but couldn't capitalize.

The Jackalopes outshot the IceRays in the second period, 20-10.

A shot from Hunter Whisenand was blocked by the goalie with 7:58 left in the period.

Eventually, the IceRays finally got on the board with a goal by Troy Pelton with 5:29 left in the period to make it a one-goal game.

Then, things only got worse for the Jackalopes as Pierson Sobush tied the game up just less than a minute later.

However, the Jackalopes responded quickly as Nick Metelkin's goal put the hosts back in front with 4:15 left in the period.

Both teams went into their second intermission with the Jackalopes hanging on to a 3-2 lead.

Odessa survived a few scoring chances from Corpus Christi early in the third period.

Corpus Christi scored with 2:03 left in regulation as Steven Kuznetsov tied the game up.

It wasn't long before Polshakov's goal saved the IceRays from having to go into overtime.

>> CORPUS CHRISTI PLAYING FOR PRIDE: The IceRays entered Friday's game with not much to play for as the team has been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Jackalopes, on the other hand, have an outside chance at getting into the play-in tournament, if they can catch sixth-place Oklahoma at the end of the regular season next month.

The Warriors (25-21-4-2) ended up losing to Shreveport (38-13-0-2) Friday night at Georges Pond Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, La.