Final push: JHS tops Braves 7-3 behind Rene hat trick
Austin Rene went after a hat trick, hoping to help Jamestown fend off another push from Bottineau-Rugby.
Behind Rene’s trio — the final goal coming early in the third — and Brandon Stahlhut’s two goals, the Blue Jays posted a 7-3 West Region win in their regular-season finale at Wilson Arena.
“I’ve been telling people that Austin’s gonna break out,” Jamestown coach Matt Stockert said. “Today was a great example of him doing that.”
When Jamestown played at Bottineau earlier this season, it held a 2-1 lead before giving up five goals in the third period in a 6-2 loss.
The Jays made sure that didn’t happen this time.
“We talked about what happened last time,” Rene said. “They’ve got good players that can put the puck in the net. I felt we did a very good job.”
Bottineau-Rugby was playing its third game in less than 48 hours, as Saturday’s contest was a makeup from a postponement in early January. A win would have leapfrogged the Braves past Century and into the No. 3 spot for Thursday’s West Region tournament in Bismarck.
Instead, the Braves will be the No. 4 seed and play Jamestown again at 1:30 p.m. at All Seasons Arena.
“I like it,” Rene said of playing the Braves again. “We figured out their playing style. We know what to look for. ... This was a very important game because it gives us confidence going into WDA.”
Stahlhut and Rene each scored inside the first minute and a half to give Jamestown a quick 2-0 lead. Following a goal from the state’s leading scorer — Harrison Aide of Bottineau-Rugby — Nick Stockert flipped the puck by Braves goalie Riley Monson late in the third to put Jamestown up 3-1 at the first break. Monson stopped 27 shots in the loss.
Rene added a shorthanded goal in the second, and Stahlhut came through with a slap shot from just inside the blue line on the power play.
Ahead 5-2, Rene added another special teams goal, converting a power-play chance early in the third. Nick Watne also scored in the final period.
Jamestown goalie Brian Wenzel was tested, but held firm for most of the game. He finished with 33 saves.
Now comes the postseason, when Jamestown will try to earn its third trip to state in the past four years.
“A lot of kids in that locker room have confidence right now,” Stockert said. “We’ve been in this region for seven years. And over half the time, the team that we played the last game of the season was the team we played in the first round. That happens a lot when you finish in that 4-5 spot.
Jamestown 7, Bottineau-Rugby 3
Bottineau-Rugby 1 1 1 — 3
Jamestown 3 2 2 — 6
First period: 1, J, Brandon Stahlhut (Tommy Bruns), 0:46. 2, J, Austin Rene (Jakobi Lux, Nick Stockert), 1:20. 3, BR, Harrison Aide (Andrew Hill, Noah Grant), 4:11, power play. 4, J, Nick Stockert (Marcus Klein, Austin Rene), 15:37.
Second period: 5, BR, Luke Amsbaugh (Harrison Aide), 3:17. 6, J, Rene (Stahlhut), 8:55, shorthanded. 7, J, Stahlhut (Bruns), 12:57, pp.
Third period: 8. J, Austin Rene (Jakobi Lux), 2:33, pp. 9, Cody Bedlion (Amsbaugh, Aide), 14:41, pp. 10, Nick Watne (Brady Hoggarth, Jack Jenson), 16:29, pp.
Goalie saves: BR, Riley Monson 12-10-5—27. J, Brian Wenzel 6-11-16—33.
Penalties: BR, 6-15 minutes. J 6-15 minutes.
Records: BR 10-5 West Region, 13-8 overall (31 points). J 9-7, 9-12 (28).
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached
at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org