Jays edge MandanThe Blue Jays were strong on special teams Tuesday night and earned a key road win as a result.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The Blue Jays were strong on special teams Tuesday night and earned a key road win as a result.
Jake Stilwell’s second short-handed goal of the game was the difference as Jamestown rallied to beat Mandan 4-3 and scoop up three key West Region points.
“Road wins are hard to get. We were focused, we skated hard and were able to get a big win,” said senior Dakotah Spitzer, who had a pair of assists in the win. “It’s not easy to win at somebody else’s place. The crowds are into the game, but we kept our heads in and were able to get it done.”
It was a needed win for the Blue Jays, who are still in the hunt for a top four spot in the West. They’re currently fifth and the Braves are sixth.
“We played pretty solid hockey for 2 1/2 periods,” coach Matt Stockert said. “I’m not sure the kids know how big of a win this was. I felt like it was a game we needed, so to go in there and get three points is a pretty big deal for us.”
Nick Stockert put Jamestown up late in the first with a power-play goal. Mandan scored the next two goals, before the Blue Jays rallied.
After Jakobi Lux leveled it at 2-all, Stilwell put the Jays up 3-2 with a “highlight reel” shorty at 9:34 in the second.
“In these high school games, special teams tend to play a pretty big role, so when you’re able to make a few things happen like we did tonight, it can go a long way,” Stockert said.
Trey Kautzman squared it 3-3 at 4:58 of the third and it stayed that way until Stilwell got his team-leading 15th goal, again short-handed, to put the Jays in front.
“It’s a big win for us,” Spitzer said. “It was a tough game, it always feels good to get a win on the road.”
Ben Walz finished with 32 saves, including 18 in a busy third period.
The Blue Jays (5-4 West, 5-6 overall) have another key game looming when Minot, currently third in the West, comes to town Friday night.
Jamestown 4, Mandan 3
Jamestown 1 2 1 — 4
Mandan 0 2 1 — 3
1, JHS, Nick Stockert (Jake Stilwell, Dakotah Spitzer), PP, 16:19.
2, MHS, Aric Riopelle, 4:21; 3, MHS, Trey Kautzman (Brady Zittleman), 4:52, 4, JHS, Jakobi Lux (Spitzer, Stilwell), 7:01; 5, JHS, Stilwell, SH, 9:34.
6, MHS, Kautzman, 4:58; 7, JHS, Stilwell, SH, 9:40
Saves: JHS, Ben Walz 8-6-18 32. Mandan, Tucker Bruington 12-12-5 29.
Penalties: JHS 6 for 22 minutes. Mandan 7 for 14 minutes.