What started out as a great series and a chance to knockout the Jackalopes for the 2nd straight year turned into a nightmare as the Jackalopes turned up the jets to take control of the series to win in 6. It's said that successfully defending a championship is one of the toughest things to do in sports, and the Brahmas learned that the hard way.
Texas had another great season after winning 32 games during the regular season. Texas made quick work of Corpus Christi in the Play In Round. The Brahmas have proven once again that playing in the Play In Round is no hurdle for the Brahmas. Since the inclusion of the Play In Round in 2008, the Brahmas have pretty much been the only team to have any success after playing in the Play In Round. Here's a list of teams how they have done since Play In Round was introduced.
Southern Conference: Play in Round: Odessa beats Austin 2-1, Conference Semifinals Laredo beats Odessa 4-0
Northern Conference: Play In Round, Texas Beats Mississippi 2-1, Conference Semifinals Texas beats Bossier-Shreveport 4-0, Conference Final, Colorado Beats Texas 4-3
Southern Conference: Play In Round, RG Valley beats Corpus Christi 2-1, Conference Semifinals Texas beats RG Valley 4-0
Northern Conference: Play In Round, Bossier-Shreveport beats Rocky Mountain 2-1, Conference Semifinals Colorado Beats Bossier-Shreveport 4-0
Southern Conference: Play In Round, Texas beats Corpus Christi 2-0, Conference Semifinals Odessa beats Texas 4-2
Northern Conference: Play In Round, Missouri Beats Mississippi 2-1, Conference Semifinals Rapid City Beats Missouri 4-0
If you look at the short history of the Play In Round. The Brahmas are the only team to even win a game, much less a series when they started in the Conference Play In Round. Everybody else has gotten Sweeped in the Conference Semifinals. This shows you how the Brahmas want to make sure they can be a force to be dealt with regardless of how they start in the playoffs either in the Conference Play In Round or in the Conference Semifinals when they won the Championship in 2009.
From the Central Hockey League Website: www.centralhockeyleague.com
From North Richland Hills, Texas: Collin Circelli's overtime winner sent the Odessa Jackalopes to the Southern Conference Finals as the team beat the Texas Brahmas, 5-4, on Monday Night at the NYTEX Sports Center. The finish gave the Odessa Jackalopes a 4-2 win in the best-of-seven series.
Jeff Pierce and Garrett Gruenke tallied the assists on Circelli's game-winner at 2:04 of the first overtime period. Circelli drove the net after Texas turned the puck at the blue line. It marks the second straight season that Odessa has lost the first two games of a Conference Semifinal series at home, only to win four straight and advance.
The Jackalopes forced overtime after scoring a pair of third period goals to eliminate a 4-2 deficit. Kory Karlander netted a power play goal from the front of the net at 5:04. Sebastien Thinel tied the game at 7:38 when he lifted a backhanded shot into the top corner.
Both teams traded goals in the first period as Kenny Benard and Jeff Pierce each scored for Odessa. Jason Deitsch and Lee Jubinville both scored for Texas.
The Brahmas picked up the play in the 2nd period two as Deitsch scored his second of the game at 3:01 to make it 3-2, Texas. Jordan Cameron made it 4-2 at 15:57 when he took the puck from the left-wing corner, around the boards, then through the right circle before depositing a backhanded shot past Juha Toivonen. Texas held the two goal lead entering the break to set up Odessa's late heroics.
Joel Martin replaced Toivonen in the third period and finished the game with just four saves, but recorded the win. Toivonen stopped 16 of 20 in net.
The series win for Odessa marks just the third time in CHL History that a team won the first two games of a series on the road only to lose the series. Odessa defeated Laredo in 2009. New Mexico topped Arizona in 2007. Texas won the first two games of the series in Odessa to take a 2-0 series lead before Odessa's comeback with four straight wins.
The Jackalopes will await the winner of the Laredo VS. Allen series for their next round opponent.
Odessa Jackalopes win Series 4-2. Odessa will play either the Allen Americans or the Laredo Bucks in the Conference Finals.
Odessa Jackalopes 5 Texas Brahmas 4 (OT) (2-2, 0-2, 2-0, 1-0)
1-0 ODE: Kenny Bernard (PP) (Ramsay, Karlander) 3:43 1st
1-1 TEX: Jason Deitsch (Hiebert, Jubinville) 6:22 1st
1-2 TEX: Lee Jubinville (PP) (Sellars, Kinnunen) 8:56 1st
2-2 ODE: Jeff Pierce (Circelli, Thinel) 13:40 1st
2-3 TEX: Jason Deitsch (Hiebert, Jubinville) 3:01 2nd
2-4 TEX: Jordan Cameron (Gale, Rouleau) 15:57 2nd
3-4 ODE: Kory Karlander (PP) (Dunn, Leveille) 5:04 3rd
4-4 ODE: Sebastien Thinel (Bourbeau, Pierce) 7:38 3rd
5-4 ODE: Collin Circelli (Pierce, Gruenke) 2:04 OT
SOG: ODE 44 TEX 24
PP: ODE 2/4 TEX 1/5
PIM: ODE 12 Minutes on 6 Penalties TEX 23 Minutes on 6 Penalties
Goalies: ODE Juha Toivonen 16 SVS on 20 Shots Joel Martin 4 SVS on 4 Shots TEX Brett Jeager 39 SVS on 44 Shots
3rd Star: Lee Jubinville (TEX)
2nd Star: Jason Deitsch (TEX)
1st Star: Collin Circelli (ODE)
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