by Jason Cohen, ITC Columnist
bad did Laredo need a win in Game 4 of its first-round
series with Odessa?
enough that nine-year vet Lance Leslie took his 2.115
playoff GAA (and .923 save percentage) to the bench
in favor of rookie Marc-Andre LeClerc.
enough that star forward Eric Schneider drove 160 miles
down I-35 after playing in Friday's San Antonio Rampage
game (and may be back there by the time you read this,
as the Rampage play again at 1p.m. on Sunday).
enough that Jeff Petruic took a celebratory half-lap
after his insurance tally... an empty-netter!
who could blame him? Facing an early end to its storybook
expansion season, the Bucks were thrilled to take out
the Odessa Jackalopes 4-2, knotting the best-of-five
series 2-2. Game Five is in Odessa Tuesday.
jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by David Myson and
Michel Periard, then refused to crumble when Odessa's
Scott Green scored twice at 2:54 and 6:09 of the third
period. Andy Lundbohm got the winner just 80 seconds
later, coming down the right side to bang home a puck
that had caromed off Dave Gilmore after Serge Dube's
I got one on [Jacks goalie Mike] Gorman in the playoffs,
I've had a few chances," Lundbohm said. "I
just hammered that one as hard as I could. I found a
seam, got in behind a guy and it was just so fortunate
the puck went on my stick."
opened up the scoring on a similar play—Rob Stanfield
let loose a drive inside the blue line and the Bucks'
third-liner pounced on it at the right circle, putting
it by Gorman short-side at 6:20 of the first.
playoff time, perfect passes and perfect plays come
once in a while," Bucks coach Terry Ruskowski says.
"You've got to go down and get those goals any
way you can. You've got to shoot the puck on net."
team had a power-play goal, with Odessa going 1-for-4
and Laredo 1-for-6. Early in the second period, the
Jacks killed off 120 seconds of a five-on-three. But
when Greg Gatto went away for hooking Schneider on an
almost-breakaway with each team playing four-a-side,
Michel Periard took advantage of the extra ice, dashing
uncovered through the slot to pick up a loose puck that
Schneider and Chris Grenville had both tried to get
past Gorman. Moving left to right and forehand to backhand,
Periard popped it over the fallen goaltender to make
gave the Jacks hope with a strong individual effort,
getting a jump in the neutral zone and twisting past
his d-man before cutting back abruptly onto LeClerc's
doorstep, where the goalie never had a chance. Then
Morten Ask went away for knocking the net off its moorings
-- amidst a redirected Odessa pass out of the corner
that might have been a goal.
way, the Jacks got what they wanted, as Green struck
again. This time Scott Hillman came down from between
the points and dished the puck backdoor for a pretty
bang-bang play. The momentum changed, but not for long.
were still pretty confident that we were gonna win,"
Schneider said. "We were at home in our own building
and like they say, the fans are the seventh player out
there. That was definitely the case tonight. It was
just great to see -- when Andy scored the goal there,
the bench erupted."
against the wall, last breath of air that we had, no
tomorrow, all the cliches you could put together, this
was it," Ruskowski said. "We came out and
we played a pretty strong game. I thought we moved the
puck as well as we've moved it in the series, and that's
what we have to do, we have to control the play, get
the puck, make the passes that we want to make, not
when they force us into making passes."
we tied it up, the pressure was on them, I thought maybe
they'd be a little tighter," Green said. "I
got to give them credit, they've got a great hockey
team and they came back and got the go-ahead goal. We're
back at home Tuesday, so we can't ask for more than
that. We just gotta come out and get a victory."
back down to one game," Lundbohm said. "If
we put our hearts into it like we did tonight I think
we can win it."