JHS tops Bruins to make first semifinal appearanceGoing places it’s never gone before has become the norm for Jamestown High School’s girls hockey program. Sophomore Torri Kamlitz scored both the first and the last goals of the game, which highlighted the Blue Jays’ thrilling 4-2 victory over Fargo South-Davies in the opening round of the state tournament Thursday at Ralph Engelstad Olympic Arena in Grand Forks.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
GRAND FORKS — Going places it’s never gone before has become the norm for Jamestown High School’s girls hockey program.
Sophomore Torri Kamlitz scored both the first and the last goals of the game, which highlighted the Blue Jays’ thrilling 4-2 victory over Fargo South-Davies in the opening round of the state tournament Thursday at Ralph Engelstad Olympic Arena in Grand Forks.
Jamestown takes on West Fargo at noon today on the main ice at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
One year removed from winning its first state tournament game in program history en route to a fifth-place finish, Jamestown knocked off the defending state champions and earned a date in the state semifinals for the first time in one fell swoop.
“This team never ceases to amaze me,” JHS coach Brad Schaack said. “It’s pretty special beating South for the first time in school history, and being in the semis for the first time. These girls deserve it.
“They dig down deep and got it done. There’s no quit.”
The Blue Jays seemingly had their backs against the wall entering the tournament. After producing the second-best overall record in the state (17-6), the Jays entered the tourney seeded fourth via the points system.
That placed the Jays in the same half of the bracket as No. 1 West Fargo, as well as South-Davies, the No. 5 seed that beat Jamestown twice during the regular season.
But Jamestown had learned from its prior mistakes, which was a key factor in the victory.
“We contained their first line,” Schaack said. “They threw the puck around real well, but we kept it to the outside and when you’re on the bigger ice like this … they made a few mistakes where they normally probably wouldn’t.”
Jamestown also snatched the early lead. After battling toe to toe well into period No. 1, Kamlitz finally broke through to put the Jays out front 2 minutes, 7 seconds till the second.
“It just gave us that momentum to keep going and get that big win,” Kamlitz said. “It feels great to know the lowest we can get is fourth, but we are going to try and go for first place.”
Jamestown senior standout Amber Schaack put the Jays up 2-0 with her 40th goal of the year 3:30 into the next period. It also kept her season-long scoring streak alive, as she’s tallied a point in all 24 of Jamestown’s games this season.
“They did a good job taking away our shooting lanes and our passing lanes. They were on our stick consistently throughout the game,” Bruins coach Josh Issertell said. “We had more primo scoring opportunities, but at the end of the day they put more pucks in the back of the net.
“Their best players were their best players today.”
The Bruins’ leading scorer this season, freshman Alex Woken, finally got Fargo South on the board with her 35th goal of the season 3 minutes after Schaack’s. But Torri’s older sister, senior Steph Kamlitz, ended the period with a bang for the Jays, firing a power-play goal past Bruins goalie Emily Grothmann with 39 seconds remaining to send the Jays into the locker room up 3-1.
“Torri getting that first goal was huge. We hadn’t been ahead of South this year,” Brad Schaack said. “It took a little air out of them, and then we got that second one from Amber and the ‘MO’ was on our side.”
Kara Tupa scored her 18th goal of the year on the power play to get the Bruins to within 3-2 with 2:38 to go. But Torri Kamlitz finished how she started.
With an extra skater on the ice for the Bruins, an empty-net goal by Kamlitz, which traveled the length of the ice from the Blue Jay circle, split the pipes dead center to send the Jays into the semifinals.
“I kinda aimed it, kinda just flung it,” Torri Kamlitz laughed. “But I just had a feeling it was going in.”
Jamestown senior goalie Carissa Finck stopped 23 of the 25 shots she faced. Grothmann finished the game with 22 saves.
Schaack said it’ll take a similar effort to beat top-seeded West Fargo.
“We’ve got to do pretty much the same thing we did today,” Schaack said. “I’d love to say we are going to contain that first line, but when three of the four top scorers in the state are on the same line, you know that’s going to be tough to do.
“But if we do that, like we did tonight, I like our chances. It’s going to have to be our best game of the year.”
The Packers defeated Jamestown 6-1 and 5-1 this season, but overcoming adversity is something the Blue Jays are becoming known for.
“We’re going to do the best we can,” Torri Kamlitz said. “Go out there hard and don’t back down.”
State High School Girls Hockey Tournament
At Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks
Jamestown 4, Fargo South/Davies 2
FS/Davies 0 1 1 — 2
Jamestown 1 2 1 — 4
1, J, Torri Kamlitz (unassisted), 14:43.
2, J, Amber Schaack (unassisted), 3:27; 3, FS/D, Alex Woken (Alli Thomas, Kara Tupa), 6:51; 4, Steph Kamlitz (Schaack), 16:21 (PP).
5, FS/D, Tupa (Woken, Madi Hanson); 6, J, T. Kamlitz (unassisted), 16:48 (EN).
Goalie saves: FS/D, Emily Grothmann 8-11-3—22; J, Carissa Finck 8-7-8—23.
Penalties: FS/D, 3 for 6 minutes; J, 3 for 6 minutes.
Records: Jamestown 18-6-0; Fargo South/Davies 14-10-0.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org