Elmira, NY – After a 5 game road trip where Elmira went 1-4, the Jackals returned home to First Arena looking for momentum before the Christmas break. Sadly, Elmira was only able to pick up one point as the team dropped the two games to Adirondack and Manchester.
During Thursday Night’s match-up against the Thunder, the Jackals were able to come back from a 3-0 deficit early in the first period to tie the game at 3. Greg Betzold, Kyle Rankin, and Greg Amlong all scored goals to force overtime. The Jackals were able to kill off a delay of game penalty in the first two minutes of overtime but it wasn’t enough as Adirondack’s Greg Wolfe scored the game winning goal with 4.5 seconds left in overtime.
Fast forward to Friday night as the Jackals welcomed the Manchester Monarchs to town. Just the week before, the Monarchs swept the Jackals in Manchester and from looking at the first period stats, you would think Manchester was on their way to another victory. Manchester out-shot the Jackals 24-7 and despite that many shots, the Monarchs were only up 3-2 at the end of the first. The big reason for why the Jackals were still in the game was goalie Jason Kasdorf who stopped 45 on 50 shots and was the 2nd star of the game. Despite the loss, Kasdorf made some very impressive saves. Manchester’s Daniel Ciampini picked up a hat trick and the first star of the game.
The one big thing to take away was the Jackals struggled in the first period of both games. In Thursday nights game, the Jackals let up three unanswered goals. Friday night, Manchester registered nine shots in the first five minutes of the game. Granted the Jackals never gave up and kept fighting but the team has to learn how to play a full 60 minutes of hockey.
Forward Mike Radja and Cole Martin both left the team this week to pursue different opportunities.
Radja left Elmira to join a team in South Korea. In a press release Radja said “I loved my time here and I love the city of Elmira….I don’t have a bad thing to say about the organization or about my time here. This was a really difficult decision, but one that I have to make as I prepare for my future after hockey. I’d like to thank Dave [Leger], Jared [Abbott], my teammates and the Jackals fans for supporting me in this decision.” Radja had four goals and seven assists in 22 games with the Jackals this season.
Martin has decided to move back to Texas to pursue a College diploma. This season Martin had one goal and five assists in 24 games with the team.
This Weeks Games:
After the Christmas break, the Elmira Jackals travel to Reading to play the Royals on December 28th before returning home on the 30th to play Norfolk Admirals and finish the week off in Wheeling against the Nailers on New Years Eve.