Jays rout Midgets: Six goals, shutout highlight winWilson Arena hadn’t exactly been kind to the Jamestown boys hockey team this season. But with three big West Region points up for grabs on Tuesday night against the visiting Dickinson Midgets, the friendly confines were exactly that.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Wilson Arena hadn’t exactly been kind to the Jamestown boys hockey team this season.
But with three big West Region points up for grabs on Tuesday night against the visiting Dickinson Midgets, the friendly confines were exactly that.
Jamestown, and Blue Jay senior goalie Ben Walz, held the Midgets off the scoreboard in all three periods, en route to their first home win since Dec. 8 in a 6-0 shutout over Dickinson.
“We’ve got a grinder coming up here, kind of starting today … and most of those are home games,” JHS coach Matt Stockert said. “So I was going to ask (JHS athletic director Jim Roaldson) if we could change them to road games.
“We’ve been playing pretty well on the road, but it’s good to get one here against Dickinson.”
Coming into the night the Blue Jays were just 1-4 while playing in front of its hometown fans, but with the victory the Jays upped their current winning streak to 3 games and improved to 6-4 in the West Region.
It was the second time in just over a week that the Blue Jays and the Midgets met each other on the ice. The Blue Jays had just defeated the Midgets 4-1 in Dickinson on Jan. 5.
“It feels really nice,” Jamestown senior defenseman Matt Grounds said. “We played good together, went out there and hit people, played the best we could and came out on top.”
The Midgets opted to place junior goalie Brett Schweitzer in net for Tuesday’s contest, in lieu of senior Jamie Gray, who allowed 3 first-period goals to the Blue Jays in their 4-1 win.
But Jamestown was still able to find ways to the back of the net early in round No. 2.
The state’s leading goal scorer, Jamestown senior Jake Stilwell, got things rolling for the Jays with a power-play goal coming with just under 8 minutes left in the first for Stilwell’s 18th goal of the season. Stilwell picked up a pass from Jamestown’s Brandon Stahlhut near center ice, where he then weaved by a Dickinson defender past the blue line and beat Schweitzer glove-side with a rising shot across the goalie’s body.
Stilwell later picked up his 31st point of the season, as he found Jamestown’s Dakotah Spitzer standing all alone to the right of Schweitzer. Spitzer also fired far side and high, earning his 2nd goal of the season.
Spitzer’s goal came with exactly 2 minutes left in the opening 17 minutes, helping the home team skate into period No. 2 with a 2-0 lead.
“I thought we came out in the first period and kind of took it to them. The start of the second period was kind of the same way,” Stockert said. “I thought the kids played pretty good to keep them at zero on the board.”
Jamestown wasted little time extending its lead, scoring just 46 seconds after the opening faceoff of the second period. Jamestown’s Jakobi Lux notched his 6th goal of the season, and almost 2 minutes later Jamestown went ahead 4-0 on Alex Williams’ 6th tally of the year.
That was the end of the night for Schweitzer, as he was pulled in place of Gray with 14 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the second.
Williams later added on his second goal of the game for the Blue Jays in the period, a power-play goal coming with less than 4 minutes left in the period to put the Jays up 5-0 to start the third.
“It’s been tough at home,” said Williams, who finished with 2 goals and 2 assists. “We’ve been winning more on the road but it’s nice to win a home game finally, in front of the home crowd.”
Stilwell scored the final goal of the game in the third, as he finished with 2 goals and 3 assists to push his season point total to 34. Jamestown’s Jakobi Lux posted a goal and 2 assists.
Walz has been in net for Jamestown all three games during its recent streak. The goalie notched 18 saves on Tuesday, upping his save count to 74 over the past three outings.
Jamestown entered the night fourth in the West Region standings, but with the win could leap-frog Minot (5-2 WR) for third, pending the outcome of Minot’s game vs. Bismarck Century (6-0 WR) also on Tuesday. Results of that game were not available prior to press time.
“It’s very important to climb up in the West Region,” Williams said. “Once we head into the WDA we’ll have a better seed to see if we can get somewhere and go to state this year.”
If Jamestown wants to climb higher in the standings, they’ll need to take care of business this Saturday in Williston (1-7 WR).
“There is so much parity in the 3, 4, 5 and 6 spot (in the West Region), that you need to strap them on and lace them on every night, otherwise you’re going to be looking back going, ‘Hey, what just happened,’” Stockert said. “I thought we were pretty focused coming in here tonight. We knew we had a job to do for three points in the region and we did exactly what we needed to do for that.”
Jamestown 6, Dickinson 0
Dickinson 0 0 0 — 0
Jamestown 2 3 1 — 6
1, J, Jake Stilwell (Brandon Stahlhut), 9:19 PP; 2, J, Dakotah Spitzer (Stilwell), 15:00.
3, J, Jakobi Lux (Alex Williams, Matt Grounds), :46; 4, J, Williams (Stilwell, Grounds), 2:23; 5, J, Williams (Lux, Stilwell), 13:23 PP.
6, J, Stilwell (Williams, Lux), 3:.40.
Goalie saves: D, Brett Schweitzer 10-8-x—18, Jamie Gray x-6-7—13; J, Ben Walz 4-8-6—18.
Penalties: D, 3 for 6 minutes; J, 3 for 6 minutes.
Records: Jamestown 6-6, 6-4 West Region: Dickinson 5-8, 3-7 West Region.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org