Blue Jays throttle BismarckA statement was made by the Blue Jay boys hockey team at Bismarck’s VFW Sports Center on Thursday night, and it rolls to the tune of something a little like this: Bring on the playoffs.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
A statement was made by the Blue Jay boys hockey team at Bismarck’s VFW Sports Center on Thursday night, and it rolls to the tune of something a little like this: Bring on the playoffs.
Jamestown dismantled Bismarck 4-0 in its final regular-season contest of the year, upping the team’s winning streak to three games to close out the season.
The win also marked the second time in its last three victories that Jamestown defeated an opponent that had previously defeated them this season. The Blue Jays took down Devils Lake 8-3 last Saturday, having fallen to the Firebirds 4-2 back on Dec. 28.
The Demons also defeated the Jays 4-2 back on Dec. 6, but Thursday’s 4-0 victory over Bismarck has the Blue Jays red-hot with the West Region tournament slated to begin next Thursday in Minot.
“You always want to end the season on a high note, and quite honestly the last few years we haven’t been able to accomplish that,” JHS coach Matt Stockert said. “This year we’re actually going into the region on a three-game winning streak and feeling pretty good about ourselves right now.”
Most of Thursday’s action in Bismarck happened in the second period, as Jamestown scored all four of its goals in the second 17 minutes. Jamestown’s Jakobi Lux kicked things off with his 11th goal of the season 6 minutes in on the power play, and just 45 seconds later Nick Stockert put the Jays up 2-0 with his 10th tally of the year.
Jake Stilwell and Tommy Bruns assisted on the goals. Stilwell scored Jamestown’s final goal, as the senior forward ended the regular season with 47 points (27 goals, 20 assists).
The Blue Jays committed two of their three penalties of the game in the second, but Stockert said the defense was there all night.
“(Bismarck) had a couple of power-play opportunities in the second, but overall we did a really good job of keeping (the puck) to the outside and not giving them a lot of quality scoring opportunities,” Stockert said. “We did a real good job of taking care of the biscuit tonight.”
Senior forward Alex Williams also scored his 13th goal of the year in the second. Senior goalie Ben Walz stopped all 33 shots sent his way between the pipes.
“I thought Ben played really solid in goal, our defense did a good job of not allowing them scoring opportunities and our forwards did a good job of moving the puck up the ice and back-checking,” Stockert said. “I thought the neutral zone tonight was the best we’ve played it. It just makes it difficult for other teams to get anything going rhythm-wise.”
Jamestown finished the regular season at 11-10 overall and 10-6 in the West Region. The Blue Jays will now have to pay attention to Saturday’s game between Bismarck High and Bottineau/Rugby.
A Bottineau/Rugby win will seed Jamestown fourth at next week’s regional in Minot. A Bismarck win would seed the team fifth.
“We’ll have practice (today) and then take a day off. We haven’t had a day off in a while,” Stockert said. “Then we’ll get after it next week up in Minot.”
Jamestown 4, Bismarck 0
1, J, Jakobi Lux (Jake Stilwell), 6:01 (PP); 2, J, Nick Stockert (Tommy Bruns), 6:46; 3, J, Alex Williams (unassisted), 12:51; 4, J, Stilwell (Dakotah Spitzer), 16:39 (short-handed).
Goalie saves: J, Ben Walz 8-16-9—33; B, Trenton Schwehr 9-10-x—19, Brett Malkmus x-x-7—7.
Penalties: J, 3 for 6 minutes; B, 2 for 4 minutes.
Records: Jamestown 11-10, 10-6 West Region; Bismarck 11-9, 8-5 West Region.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at email@example.com