ODESSA, TX– In an effort to halt a season-long ten game regulation losing streak and shake up an underperforming roster, the sixth-place Odessa Jackalopes made a pair of personnel moves Thursday, acquiring 6’2” goaltender Nick Deery from the Brookings Blizzard in exchange for future considerations and receiving a tender from the North Division’s Soo Eagles in exchange for centerman Pat Thompson. In four appearances for the Central Division Blizzard, Deery, a 6’2” Lacrosse, Wisconsin native, went 2-2-0 with one shutout, a 2.25 goals-against average and a save percentage of .924 this season.
“I’m very excited and I look forward to playing and hopefully starting to get something going for the Jackalopes,” said Deery Thursday. The Jackalopes currently rank dead last in the NAHL in goals-allowed per game (4.46), a problem that Jackalopes’ Assistant Coach Matt Cressman hopes Deery’s size addresses. “We’ve heard a lot of good reports on [Deery], he’s a bigger kid and we need that,” Cressman said Thursday, “Nick’s excited to get down here, he’ll meet us in [Frisco] on Friday and we’ll go from there.”
Meanwhile, Thompson’s departure from the Permian Basin is bittersweet for the Hellertown, Pennsylvania native, as Odessa became a second home for the veteran forward this season. “I’m upset because I’m not going to be with the [players] anymore…I’m definitely going to miss every single one of them,” said Thompson Thursday, “But I’m happy because I’m going to a good team and I hope to succeed there as a hockey player.”
With more moves on the horizon, Cressman says the team’s recent roster turnover is necessary. “We’re not winning hockey games so we’re trying to make changes,” said Cressman, “We don’t like making changes, but unfortunately we aren’t getting better.” As for Thompson’s fate elsewhere, Cressman sees positives for the talented forward. “For Pat, he’s going to a good situation…the Soo is in second place so he’ll get a good chance there. [With these moves], we’re trying to make ourselves better instantly and for the future.”
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)