Jays blank Coyotes
A shaky start, after the long bus ride to Williston, was wiped away by two strong closing periods for the Jamestown High School boys hockey team on Saturday.
The Blue Jays outshot the Coyotes 39-18 en route to a 4-0 West Region win. It was the fourth win in their last five games for the Blue Jays, who squared their conference mark at 5-5. Their only loss in the span was an overtime heartbreaker to Minot, one of the top teams in the West.
“I thought we came out a little sluggish in the first period and were trying to do too much individually, a little selfish play kind of crept in there,” coach Matt Stockert said. “We had a conversation after the first period and the selfish play in the first period turned into unselfish play in the second and third periods and we kind of had our way with them.”
The Blue Jays did score in the opening frame on Nick Schaack’s first varsity goal. Stockert did credit Williston for some of his team’s struggles.
“They play hard. They’re scrappy and they come after you and it was a little disappointing how we responded early in the game,” he said.
Jamestown peppered Ty Berg with 27 shots over the final two periods. Austin Rene made it 2-0 at 11:52 of the second and the lead was 3-0 when Jakobi Lux scored with assists to Nick Stockert and Rene five minutes later.
Brandon Stahlhut capped the scoring with an unassisted goal in the third.
It was three points the Blue Jays had to get. The Coyotes are winless in region games.
“You always look at the standings this point of the year and who you should beat. That’s no disrespect to Williston. They were right with us into the second period, but we were able to do what we needed to,” Stockert said.
Brian Wenzel stopped all 14 shots he faced in the first two periods. Ty Spitzer got the third period and handled all four pucks he saw.
The next two weeks are busy for the Blue Jays with games Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday both weeks and that’s fine with the coach.
“I really don’t mind it. You can look at it two-fold in that if you lose a heartbreaker, you can’t hang our head and feel sorry for yourself because you got another game coming right behind it,” he said. “If you get a win, you can’t feel too good about yourself because you have another team to prepare for.
“It also prepares us for the region tournament, which is right around the corner where you play Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So, hopefully we approach it the right way and keep things moving in the right direction.”
The busy stretch starts Tuesday night at Fargo North.
Jamestown 4, Williston 0
1, JHS, 3:42 Nick Schaack (Austen Meyer), 3:42.
2, JHS, Austin Rene (Jakobi Lux), 11:52; 3, JHS, Lux (Nick Stockert, Rene), 5:25.
4, JHS Brandon Stahlhut (unassisted), 6:48.
Goalie saves: JHS, Brian Wenzel 8-6-x—14; Ty Spitzer x-x-4—4. Williston, Ty Berg 10-8-17—35.
Penalties: Jamestown, 4 for 11 minutes. Williston, 4 for 8 minutes.