Early surge lifts PackersA five-goal first period by the visiting Packers was the catalyst, as West Fargo snapped the Jamestown Blue Jay girls’ hockey team’s three-game winning streak 9-4 during the Jays’ regular-season finale at Wilson Arena on Friday night.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
A five-goal first period by the visiting Packers was the catalyst, as West Fargo snapped the Jamestown Blue Jay girls’ hockey team’s three-game winning streak 9-4 during the Jays’ regular-season finale at Wilson Arena on Friday night.
It was all West Fargo in the opening 17 minutes, who also defeated Jamestown 5-0 in West Fargo back on Jan. 10.
Freshman forward Maddy Nelson punched in her fourth and fifth goals of the season to give the Packers a 2-0 advantage with 9:02 left to play in the first, which opened the flood gates. The Packers outshot Jamestown 21-5 in the first, and also got a pair of goals out of sophomore Allison Springer and another from sophomore Kelly Krahn to go up 5-0 after one.
The final two goals by Springer and Krahn were both scored on the power play, as the Packers were a perfect two-for-two on power-play opportunities in the first period. West Fargo scored three power-play goals on the night, as Jamestown was whistled for five penalties.
“We started out good. Our first two shifts of the night, we had it down in there end and we had them bottled up. Then all of a sudden bam, bam, bam, bam, and that’s kind of what happened to us down in West Fargo,” JHS coach Brad Schaack said. “Carissa (Finck) has played a little better, and our defense has played a little better. We were kind of running around, and obviously they have a pretty salty power play.”
Jamestown junior goalie Carissa Finck ended the night with 36 saves, 16 of which came in the first period.
West Fargo later went up 7-0 in the second period behind goals by Kourtney Lothspeich and Tori Holland, but a goal by Jamestown’s Larissa Wiest with 12 seconds left before the third gave the Jays some life.
Jamestown would score four unanswered goals, one each by Mataya Olson, Amber Schaack and Sarah Auka, to cut the lead to 7-4 with 7:21 left in the game. Olson and Schaack both went the distance of the ice to score unassisted, while Auka fired in a shot from the point for Jamestown’s only power-play goal of the evening.
Amber Schaack’s goal was her 32nd of the season. She also scored an assist on the night, bumping her season total of points to 44.
“You take the first period away, and we played pretty dang good,” Schaack said. “The one thing about this team, and it’s been their MO pretty much all year, is that we don’t give up. At 7-0, we could have said the heck with it. I’m very proud of them.”
The Blue Jays did receive a scare early in the second, as Amber Schaack was slow coming off the ice after a collision near the boards with a pair of West Fargo players. Schaack, however, returned shortly thereafter.
“She’s fine. She took a knee to the back of the neck when she went down to the ice,” Schaack said. “She’s tougher than hell. She’ll get back up and she did.”
But after Jamestown’s flurry of goals, West Fargo came back with back-to-back goals by junior Hayley Walsh — the latter on the power-play — to thwart the comeback and end the game.
West Fargo had five players account for three or more points in the game, led by Walsh with a pair of goals and three assists.
Jamestown will enter next weekend’s state tournament in Grand Forks as the No. 7 seed, where they’ll face No. 2-seeded and defending state champion Fargo North at 5 p.m. on Thursday, marking the third straight year the two teams have met in the opening round.
The two teams have played a pair of close contests so far this year, with the Spartans winning 4-3 and 5-2.
“We’ll be on the Olympic-sized ice, so we’ve got to keep everything outside. That’s the main thing,” Schaack said. “We’ve got to watch that first line of theirs. (Mara) Teschendorf (27 goals, 51 points) is one helluva hockey player.
“If we can keep her in check and hopefully not have anyone else hurt us, I like our chances.”
West Fargo 9, Jamestown 4
West Fargo 5 2 2 — 9
Jamestown 0 1 3 — 4
1, WF, Maddy Nelson (Tori Holland), 5:46; 2, WF, Nelson (Hayley Walsh), 7:58; 3, WF, Allison Springer (Kelly Krahn, Walsh), 14:12; 4, Krahn (Holland, Walsh), 15:23 PP; 5, Springer (Chelsea Wangen, Krahn), 16:24 PP.
6, WF, Kourtney Lothspeich (Britney Yliniemi), 12:17; 7, WF, Holland (unassisted), 13:09; 8, JHS, Larissa Wiest (Mataya Olson, Ally Dion), 16:48.
9, JHS, Olson (unassisted), 4:28; 10, JHS, Amber Schaack (unassisted), 5:33; 11, JHS, Sarah Auka (Schaack, Dion), 9:30 PP; 12, WF, Walsh (Nelson, Holland), 11:37; 13, WF, Walsh (Springer), 14:59 PP.
Penalties: West Fargo 4 for 8 minutes; Jamestown 5 for 10 minutes.
Goalie saves: West Fargo, Andrea Klug 5-10-15—20; Jamestown, Carissa Finck 16-10-10—36.
Records: West Fargo 13-6 state (15-7 overall); Jamestown 10-11-1 state (11-11-1 overall).
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-846 or by email at email@example.com