W.F. escapes with victory: JHS rallies late, but falls shortWhen the West Fargo boys hockey team took a two-goal lead midway through the third period, it seemed like the Packers had all the momentum on Thursday night.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
When the West Fargo boys hockey team took a two-goal lead midway through the third period, it seemed like the Packers had all the momentum on Thursday night.
But Jamestown grabbed it right back in the final minute after coach Matt Stockert chose to pull goalie Tygh Yatskis off the ice in favor of another attacker.
With an odd-man advantage, Austin Rene drilled a slap shot from the blue line past West Fargo goalie Bailey Vareberg to get within one, but bounced the potential game-tier off the left pipe as the Packers escaped with a 3-2 nonconference victory at Wilson Arena.
“It worked out pretty good for us,” Stockert said. “We had three or four opportunities to put the puck in the net to tie the game. We (were) a pipe away from tying it up with 10 seconds left. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Rene’s shot went through traffic and past Vareberg, breathing new life into the Blue Jays. They had all the momentum, too, as West Fargo only sent the puck down to the other end once, a partial shot that slid left of the open net.
“I did get a little nervous,” West Fargo co-coach Tim Capouch said. “Every time we play Jamestown, Matt has his team ready to go. … They always battle back.”
Rene’s first attempt at tying the game came with 30 seconds left, as he took a pass from Jake Stilwell right in front of the net and fired a shot, which bounced off Vareberg’s glove. The second attempt came with six seconds remaining, when Rene — in the same position as when he scored his goal — slapped another shot that slipped through traffic and clanked off the left pipe.
Stockert said he was well aware of Rene’s ability from the blue line.
“That’s one of the reasons I put him back there,” he said. “The key is to get it off quick and don’t try to handle it too much. … He got the first one. He probably should have scored when Jake fed him in the slot there. He had another opportunity on a draw to do the same thing and just clanked it off the pipe.”
Jamestown’s Nick Stockert put his team on the board in the third period with a goal that was assisted on by Rene and Brady Hoggarth. However, the decider actually came in the first period, when West Fargo outskated and outshot the Blue Jays, getting a goal from Tyler Crouse, who finished with two on the night.
Vareberg finished with 24 saves, while Jamestown goalie Tygh Yatskis stopped 28 shots in the loss.
The Blue Jays host Hazen-Beulah on Saturday.
West Fargo 3, Jamestown 2
West Fargo 1 0 2 — 3
Jamestown 0 0 2 — 2
First period: 1, WF, Tyler Crouse (C.J. Lenzmeier), 5:14.
Second period: No scoring.
Third period: 2, WF, Crouse (Lenzmeier, Wyatt Freitheim), 4:59. 3, J, Nick Stockert (Austin Rene, Brady Hoggarth), 6:37. 4, WF, Jake Hoy (unassisted), 10:26. 5, J, Rene (Jakobi Lux), 16:03.
Goalie saves: WF, Bailey Vareberg 9-6-9—24. J, Tygh Yatskis 9-11-8—28.
Penalties: WF 9 minors. J 1 major, 8 minors.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com