Unbeaten Packers slow down Blue JaysDown a pair of skaters to illness and facing the state’s No. 1 team, the Blue Jay girls hockey team could have easily let Tuesday’s game at Wilson Arena against the West Fargo Packers get out of hand.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Down a pair of skaters to illness and facing the state’s No. 1 team, the Blue Jay girls hockey team could have easily let Tuesday’s game at Wilson Arena against the West Fargo Packers get out of hand.
The undefeated Packers rolled into Jamestown boasting a ridiculous average of 8.4 goals scored per game, a stat that was largely inflated with a 17-0 drubbing of Mandan in late December.
But probably more impressive, the Packers skated into Wilson Arena allowing opponents less than a goal per game with 8 goals scored against in 10 games played.
It was four unanswered goals by the Packers in the second that sealed the fate of the Blue Jays. But Jamestown played to a 0-0 score after the first period, and broke up West Fargo goalie Andrea Klug’s 3 straight shutouts with Amber Schaack’s 17th goal of the season in the third, as the Packers stayed perfect at 11-0 with a 6-1 victory over the Jays.
“Again, these girls don’t quit. It was 4-0 after two and they could have said the hell with it, but they didn’t,” JHS coach Brad Schaack said. “Amber was pretty determined on that one. Nobody likes to get a goose egg on the board.”
Jamestown sophomore forward/defenseman Torri Kamlitz and eighth-grade forward Haley Schnaidt were both sidelined by illness, forcing the Blue Jays to throw just 9 skaters at West Fargo’s 15. Jamestown senior defenseman Brenna Pritchert and senior forward Larissa Wiest were also feeling under the weather, but were somehow able to battle through all three periods.
“Brenna is really ill … She gutted it out,” Schaack said. “She’s one tough little girl, and Larissa is just coming off her (cold) and she’s still got a nasty cough.
“With nine girls, what we did tonight was pretty impressive. I wish I had another nine of them.”
After a tight, scoreless battle at the end of one, West Fargo junior forward Allison Springer played a whale of a second period, helping the Packers break the game open. Springer scored back-to-back goals to get the Packers on the board, the first of which came just 1 minute, 57 seconds into the period after Jamestown goalie Carissa Finck was unable to corral a loose puck in front of the Blue Jay net.
Springer also assisted on both of West Fargo’s remaining goals in the period, as she ended the night with 2 goals and 3 assists, but arguably her best play of the night came on defense.
After the Packers went ahead 2-0 with 11:50 left in the second, Amber Schaack was able to work free and fire a shot at Klug from the left side which somehow got past the goalie. But Springer was there and miraculously swiped a sure goal away from the Blue Jays, slapping the puck away before it crossed the goal line.
Klug ended the night with 20 saves, while Finck notched 32 saves between the pipes for the Jays.
The state’s leading scorer, West Fargo’s Hayley Walsh, also added to her point total on Tuesday night, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists to bring her current point total to a state-leading 44.
Schaack’s goal came unassisted with just under 7 minutes left in the third as Jamestown trailed 5-0. Schaack was able to get behind the defense and slap a shot directly at Klug, which Klug deflected right back onto the stick of Schaack who sent it home.
The goal kept Schaack’s season-long goal scoring streak alive.
“The effort was there, first, second and third period. We made some mental mistakes in the second … but at the end of the third period we seem to get stronger,” Brad Schaack said. “That’s how this team goes. I don’t know how they do it.”
The loss derailed a 3-game winning streak, as the Jays — the state’s No. 3 team — fell to 10-3 overall. Jamestown travels to Fargo North on Saturday to face the Spartans, a team the Blue Jays defeated 2-0 at Wilson Arena in their first game of the year.
“We’ll go from here and hopefully we get everybody healthy for Saturday, because that’s a big one,” Brad Schaack said. “(Fargo) North, they’re going to be wanting a little revenge after we beat them 2-0 earlier in the season.”
The game against the Spartans kicks off an important stretch of games for Jamestown. After Fargo North, Jamestown faces the likes of Fargo South/Davies (Jan. 15), Bismarck (Jan. 18) and Minot (Jan. 25).
“Somehow we need to find some points out of there, which I think we will,” Brad Schaack said. “But nothing’s easy.”
West Fargo 6, Jamestown 1
West Fargo 0 4 2 — 6
Jamestown 0 0 1 — 1
1, WF, Allison Springer (unassisted), 1:57; 2, WF, Springer (Hayley Walsh, Kelly Krahn), 5:10; 3, WF, Krahn (Springer), 10:32; 4, Walsh (Springer), 14:37.
5, WF, Walsh (unassisted), 8:34 SH; 6, JHS, Amber Schaack (unassisted), 10:04; 7, WF, Tori Holland (Walsh, Springer), 10:33.
Goalie saves: WF, Andrea Klug 7-6-7—20; JHS, Carissa Finck 10-14-8—32
Penalties: WF 2 for 4 minutes; Jamestown 1 for 2 minutes.
Records: West Fargo 10-0 statewide, 11-0 overall; Jamestown 8-2 statewide, 10-3 overall.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com