Jackson Wins Five In A Row, Closes In On .500 Mark

Posting back-to-back home wins on Friday and Saturday, Jackson improved its winning streak to five games while moving within a game of .500 at 6-7-0.

Jackson beat Pensacola 2-1 in a shootout on Friday and beat defending Kelly Cup Champion Greenville 4-0 on Saturday, a game that saw Jackson score three goals in 1:11 of the first period. Kevin Mackey scored at 2:41, Nick Theriault scored at 3:03 and John McNabb scored at 3:50.

The Bandits opened the season with four consecutive losses before beating Arkansas 4-2 on October 19. Jackson, however, lost its next three games and sat in last place in the Southwest Division with a 1-7-0 record at the end of October. The Bandits were averaging 2.63 goals per game while allowing 4.25 goals per game and their power play ranked 23rd (11.11 percent) while their penalty kill ranked 18th (78.87 percent). Tyrone Garner, who was named co-MVP of the 2002 Kelly Cup Playoffs after helping Greenville win the 2002 Kelly Cup title, was 0-5-0 with a 3.82 goals against average and a .913 save percentage.

November has been a different story for the Bandits, who are a perfect 5-0 while outscoring their opponents 17-8. Jackson has raised its goals scored to 2.92 per game while lowering its goals allowed to 3.31. The Bandits penalty kill has moved up to ninth in the ECHL (84.25 percent), but the power play continues to struggle, ranking 25th (10.00 percent).

Garner, who was called up to San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Friday, is 3-0-0 with a shutout, a 2.33 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in November. Adam Hauser, who was 1-2-0 with a 5.03 goals against average and a .865 save percentage in three games in October, is 2-0-0 with a shutout, an 0.48 goals against average and a .984 save percentage in two starts in November. Hauser made 25 saves in regulation and stopped five of seven shooters in the 2-1 shootout win against Pensacola on Friday, and made 36 saves while picking up his first professional shutout in the 4-0 win against Greenville on Saturday.

Scott Kelman has led the Bandits offensively during the five-game winning streak, scoring seven points (4g-3a) while Brian Forslund has scored five points (3g-2a) in the five games. John McNabb leads Jackson with seven goals and is tied for the team lead with two power-play goals and 11 points. Jeff Bes is tied for the team lead with six assists and 11 points while Gaetan Royer has six assists and nine points in 11 games.

Jackson concludes its five-game home stand at the Mississippi Coliseum hosting Louisiana on Wednesday, Baton Rogue on Saturday and Mississippi on Sunday. The Bandits are 5-2-0 at home. Jackson’s 6-1 loss at Louisiana on October 27 was the last loss before the Bandits began their current winning streak. Jackson has won the last two meetings with Baton Rouge, 5-4 at home on November 2 and 2-0 at Baton Rouge on November 3, evening the season series with the Kingfish at 2-2-0. Mississippi holds a 1-0 lead in the NEXTEL Cup Series, winning 4-3 at Biloxi on October 13.