Odessa blanks 'Toppers at Taos tourney

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It was a rough start to a big mid-year tournament for the Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team Friday night.
The Hilltoppers fell victim to a pair of quick scoring strikes by the Odessa, Texas, Jackalopes in their first game of the Taos Showcase Tournament.
Odessa, a traveling midget-level squad — not a high school-level squad like those who play in the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League — scored two goals in quick succession in the first period and did so again in the second period to turn the game into a rout.
Odessa prevailed Friday night 6-0 over Los Alamos. Los Alamos trailed 3-0 after the first period, but played even with the Jackalopes throughout most of the second period until time was winding down.
Then, with under four minutes remaining, the Jackalopes scored two goals less than a minute apart, one of them by Jason Moore, who had two goals on the game for Odessa.
The Hilltoppers couldn’t get much going in the third period to try to get back into the contest. They were hampered by lack of an effective power play offense, as they had several power-play chances throughout the game.
For the season, Los Alamos has scored just twice in 31 power play attempts.
The game featured extended 17-minute periods, which are considerably longer than those used in NMIIHL play, but are regulation periods at the midget level - midgets are high-school aged club players.
Although Los Alamos goaltender Zealand Walterscheid allowed all 6 goals, he was peppered by the Jackalopes all night and many of the Jackalopes’ goals were of the quick-strike variety or on breakaways.
Things don’t get any easier for Los Alamos (4-2), which will face El Paso Franklin at 6 p.m. today and is scheduled to take on top seed El Paso Coronado at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Both Hilltopper games will be broadcast by David Sutton and Rick Picard of KRSN.

Special thanks to KRSN for its help with this story.