Braves top Jays: Bottineau-Rugby rallies for winThere are very few things that will sink a hockey team’s chances of winning faster than allowing shorthanded goals, and that played a large hand in the Blue Jay boys’ undoing at Wilson Arena on Friday night. After building a 2-0 lead over the visiting Bottineau/Rugby Braves in the first period, Jamestown was in the driver’s seat, starting the second 17 minutes with 1 minute, 51 seconds remaining on a Braves’ tripping penalty from late in the first.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
There are very few things that will sink a hockey team’s chances of winning faster than allowing shorthanded goals, and that played a large hand in the Blue Jay boys’ undoing at Wilson Arena on Friday night.
After building a 2-0 lead over the visiting Bottineau/Rugby Braves in the first period, Jamestown was in the driver’s seat, starting the second 17 minutes with 1 minute, 51 seconds remaining on a Braves’ tripping penalty from late in the first.
But things got ugly for the home team in a hurry.
The puck found the stick of the state’s leading scoring, Bottineau/Rugby’s Harrison Aide, and even down a man the junior forward put his team on his back. Aide scored back-to-back shorthanded goals that came just 31 seconds apart to tie the score at 2-2 just 42 seconds into the second and with 1:09 left on the Blue Jay power play.
Jamestown answered back to lead 4-3 after two, but four answered goals by the Braves in the third — including an empty netter by Aide in the closing seconds as he finished with 3 goals and 3 assists — handed Bottineau/Rugby a 7-4 West Region victory over Jamestown.
“You’re talking about a pretty good little skilled hockey player in Harrison. He made something happen, no question,” JHS coach Matt Stockert said. “Were we sleeping? Yeah we were sleeping. Were we sleeping half the night? I’d have to say yeah, I think we were.”
The Braves came out of the gates and outmatched the intensity of Jamestown, but the Blue Jays gained the early moment and the lead following a hooking penalty on the Braves with 9:28 left to play in the first. Jamestown’s Alex Williams scored his fifth goal of the season just as the Jamestown power play expired, as he wrapped a shot from around the back of the net that beat Braves goalie Riley Monson stick side.
Brandon Stahlhut would later put the Jays up 2-0 with his third goal of the season with just over 2 minutes to play in the period. Jamestown’s Jakobi Lux and Jake Stilwell were credited with assists on the Jays’ pair of goals in the first.
But the opening minute of the second was a disaster, and the Braves would take a 3-2 lead on their first of two power-play goals of the night with 9:58 remaining in the second. Luke Amsbaugh would score that one, as Aide left Wilson Arena with a state-leading 33 points and 23 assists.
Aide, Amsbaugh and Cody Longie are 1-2-3 in scoring in the state. Longie posted a goal and three assists in the game.
“I don’t think we were on at all, it didn’t matter which line we went out there with. We just didn’t get anything going offensively, and defensively we made some bad decisions and when you do that a couple of things happen,” Stockert said. “You don’t get very many opportunities when you don’t play well offensively, and when you play bad defensively, I think in the end you give up too many and that’s exactly what we did tonight.”
Jamestown’s Jake Stilwell provided a few heroics, scoring back-to-back goals of his own that came just 9 seconds apart to give the Blue Jays a 4-3 lead to start the third. Stilwell has a team-leading 13 goals on the season.
But the Braves would start the third with 1 minute, 53 seconds left on a Blue Jay slashing penalty carried over from the second, and they’d capitalize. Andrew Hill received a beautiful centering pass from the left circle from Aide, and Hill buried the puck to knot it at 4-4 just 53 seconds into the third.
The Braves went up for good just under 5 minutes later on Longie’s lone goal of the game. Tygh Yatskis was busy all night between the pipes for Jamestown, recording 37 saves.
The defeat was a bitter one for the Blue Jays, who defeated Bottineau/Rugby 7-2 back on Nov. 31.
“I don’t think we took Bottineau for granted. They’ve got a good team and they had a good team when we beat them up there a few weeks ago,” Stockert said. “I just don’t think we played all that well tonight, and I really don’t honestly know the reason why.
“But we’re going to have to figure it out pretty quick here. … If we don’t play any better than we did here tonight, we’re in for a long day tomorrow in Dickinson.”
Friday night’s game kicked off a busy stretch for Jamestown (3-6, 3-4 West Region). The Blue Jays are at Dickinson today, before traveling to Mandan on Tuesday and will face Minot at Wilson arena on Friday.
“It’s unfortunate because those were three pretty big West Region points, and they got them and we didn’t,” Stockert said. “I don’t know what it is about our building, but we’re having a tough time winning hockey games here and we’re going to have to figure it out pretty quick.”
Bottineau/Rugby 7, Jamestown 4
Bottineau/Rugby 0 3 4 — 7
Jamestown 2 2 0 — 4
1, JHS, Alex Williams (Jakobi Lux), 9:37; 2, JHS, Brandon Stahlhut (Jake Stilwell), 14:51.
3, B/R, Harrison Aide (Cody Longie), :11 SH; 4, B/R, Aide (Andrew Hill), :42 SH; 5, B/R, Luke Amsbaugh (Aide, Longie), 7:02 PP; 6, JHS, Jake Stilwell (Lux), 11:32; 7, JHS, Stilwell (unassisted), 11:41.
8, B/R, Hill (Aide), :53 PP; 9, B/R, Longie (unassisted), 5:12; 10, B/R, Hill (Aide, Longie), 8:19; 11, B/R, Aide (Hill), 15:30 EN.
Goalie saves: B/R, Riley Monson 6-3-9—18; Jamestown, Tygh Yatskis 6-18-13—37.
Penalties: B/R 4 for 8 minutes; Jamestown 3 for 6 minutes.
Records: Bottineau/Rugby 6-1-1, 3-1-1 West Region; Jamestown 3-6, 3-4 West Region.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com