Landmark victoryAs tradition-rich Fargo North skated off the ice in disappointment, screams filled Wilson Arena. It was the sound of the Jamestown High School girls hockey team lifting a giant monkey of its back.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
As tradition-rich Fargo North skated off the ice in disappointment, screams filled Wilson Arena.
It was the sound of the Jamestown High School girls hockey team lifting a giant monkey of its back.
Amber Schaack delivered the decider midway through the third and goalie Carissa Finck stopped 22 shots as the Blue Jays posted a 2-0 win over Fargo North on Thursday.
“It’s incredible. We were just screaming right into the locker room,” Schaack said.
It’s the first win over a Fargo team in the history of the program, according to coach Brad Schaack. And when the Spartans — who have been to the state championship game eight of the 10 years girls hockey has been sanctioned in North Dakota — still hadn’t scored after two periods, Amber Schaack said that was the opening her team needed.
“We’re usually going into the third period down against these Fargo teams,” she said. “Going in with a tie knowing we can come out on top and we haven’t even played our best game was a good feeling.”
Amber Schaack gave the Jays all the insurance they needed when she split two Fargo North defenders and took goalie Olivia Pladson top shelf to put her team up 1-0 with 11 minutes, 4 seconds to go. The first-team all-state selection played defense most of the night, though, contributing to the shutout.
“One thing they do well is protect the middle of their own zone,” North coach Chris Dougherty said. “It was hard to get good scoring chances. You’ve got to kind of jump to loose pucks.
“And let’s face it. They’ve got a player who can change a game in a heartbeat.”
With time winding down, North desperately tried to fire shots Finck’s way. The netminder stopped 10 shots in the third after saving 12 in the first two periods. Jamestown outshot the Spartans 34-22.
“She was on top of her game,” Amber Schaack said. “The best I’ve ever seen her play. I’ve got to thank her. She saved our butts a couple of times.”
A collective sigh of relief came from Jamestown’s side when Larissa Wiest turned a scramble in front of the net into a two-goal lead at the 2:56 mark. Positioned on the left side, she somehow squeezed the puck between Pladson’s skate and the left pipe. Pladson had 32 saves.
North didn’t get any good looks at the net in the waning minutes, but there were certainly missed opportunities.
The Spartans failed to convert on a 5-on-3 late in the first period. Not only did North not convert; it struggled to get a shot off thanks to the work at the top from Wiest and Steph Kamlitz.
“I’m sure North hasn’t worked on their power play, kind of like us,” Brad Schaack said. “We haven’t worked on the triangle 5-on-3, but we know the basics of it. … I don’t even know if they got a shot off.”
The win gives the Blue Jays plenty of momentum headed into Friday’s game at Mandan.
“We don’t have a regional; every game’s basically a playoff game,” Schaack said. “It’s two points. We want to get into that top eight.”
Jamestown 2, Fargo North 0
Fargo North 0 0 0 — 0
Jamestown 0 0 2 — 2
1, J, Amber Schaack (unassisted), 5:56.
2, J, Larissa Wiest (Torri Kamlitz), 14:04.
Goalie saves — FN, Olivia Pladson 14-11-9 — 34. J, Carissa Finck 7-10-22 — 22.
Penalties — FN 3 minors, Jamestown 4 minors.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached by (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org