Roughriders roll: Jays close early, but fall to Red RiverGRAND FORKS — In the final minute of the first period, Jamestown High School’s Ben Sorenson crashed the net for a rebound for a chance to tie the game at 2-all going into the first intermission. Instead, Grand Forks Red River goalie Bryan Nies made the stickside save and 20 seconds later Casey Fugleberg was celebrating his second goal of the game as the Roughriders took a two-goal lead into the second period.
GRAND FORKS — In the final minute of the first period, Jamestown High School’s Ben Sorenson crashed the net for a rebound for a chance to tie the game at 2-all going into the first intermission.
Instead, Grand Forks Red River goalie Bryan Nies made the stickside save and 20 seconds later Casey Fugleberg was celebrating his second goal of the game as the Roughriders took a two-goal lead into the second period.
The Blue Jays, who had scored two minutes prior, were never able to take back the momentum as the top-seeded Roughriders picked up the 7-1 victory on Thursday in the opening round of the state tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.
“Anytime a goal is scored like that at the end of the period it’s kind of deflating,” said JHS coach Matt Stockert. “I think we just need to do a better job of taking care of the things that we’re good at doing, and if we would have done that for 51 minutes tonight it might not have been 7-1.”
Fugleberg completed the hat trick in the second period, while Blake Holein, Jared Lothspeich and Josh Gilbertson tallied goals in the third to help Grand Forks Red River improve to 19-6-0.
“They won the East Region for a reason. They’re a good team,” said Stockert. “They’re four lines deep when they want to be four lines deep. Their fourth line might be just as good as our second or third lines.”
Jamestown (10-14-1) had its chances but only one puck was able to find the back of the net.
Trevor Schmitt scored with 2:18 to go in the first period to make it 2-1, but Nies was flawless the rest of the way as he finished with 17 saves. “I thought we could have attacked the puck a little bit better at times, because when we did we had opportunities,” Stockert said. “You take back that goal with a couple seconds left in the first and we put away some of those opportunities it’s a different game.”
Blue Jay goalie Tygh Yatskis made 31 saves throughout the night, including 14 in the second period.
The Roughriders, who finished the regular season as the fourth best scoring team in the state, never trailed after scoring the game’s first two goals.
Cody Jennewein started things off when he slipped past the Blue Jay defense and scored on the power play just over six minutes into the game. The junior forward also had two assists in the third period.
Fugleberg scored his first goal of the game four minutes later to put the Roughriders up 2-0.
The senior forward, who leads the team with 26 goals this season, had an assist in Grand Forks Red River’s last state-tourna ment appearance in 2009 when the Roughriders won the state title.
“We just need to learn something, kind of like we did a week ago against Bismarck High,” Stockert said. “We need to bounce back and win (today) so we can be playing for a trophy on Saturday.”
To do that, they’ll have to beat Minot, which fell to West Fargo in the final game Thursday, 1-0. The Magicians swept the Blue Jays during the regular season, but both were onegoal games.
State tournament At Grand Forks Red River Quarterfinals Grand Forks Red River 7, Jamestown 1
Jamestown 1 0 0 — 1 GFRR 3 1 3 — 7 Scoring First period 1, GFRR, Cody Jennewein (Jade Podell), 6:08, PP; 2, GFRR, Casey Fugleberg (Jonathan Lizotte), 10:31; 3, JHS, Trevor Schmitt (Andrew Yatskis, Travis Ingstad, 14:48, PP; 4, GFRR, Fugleberg (Alan Zahui, Brock Dahl), 16:52. Second period 5, GFRR, Fugleberg (Dahl, Zahui), 5:12. Third period 6, GFRR, Blake Holein (Josh Gilbertson, Jennewein), 5:47; 7, GFRR, Jared Lothspeich (Andy Norman, Lizotte), 13:09; Gilbertson (Holein, Jennewein), 13:39. Penalties: Jamestown, 4 for 8 minutes; Grand Forks Red River 6 for 12 minutes. Goalie saves: Jamestown, Tygh Yatskis 11-13-7-31; Grand Forks Red River 7-4-6-17. Records: Grand Forks Red River 19-6-0, Jamestown 10-14-1.
Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org