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Jays one win from state

The Blue Jay boys hockey team will play Bottineau-Rugby today at 11 a.m. in Minot with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

Jamestown fell 8-1 to Bismarck Century in Friday’s West Region tournament semifinals at Maysa Arena, setting up the late-morning tilt with the Braves in state play-in action. The Blue Jays, who have posted victories of 7-2 and 8-3 over Bottineau-Rugby this season, will be looking for their first state tournament berth since 2013.

Friday’s semifinal against the Patriots got off to an ominous start for Jamestown. Senior forward Devin Hofmann, who leads the Blue Jays in scoring (22 goals, 12 assists), exited the game in the first period with an injury.

Jamestown had already lost senior defenseman Cole Bennion, who left Thursday’s 4-3 quarterfinal win over Dickinson with an injury and would not return.

Century scored twice in the first period, four times in the second and twice more in the third, outshooting Jamestown 53-15. Patriot senior forward Isaiah Thomas scored the game’s first four goals.

Jamestown’s all-state senior blue liner Connor Fuchs tallied the Jays’ lone goal on the power play in the third, assisted by junior defenseman Connor Rene.

The Patriots went 3 of 6 on the power play and earned 21 quality scoring chances to four by the Blue Jays. Jamestown’s Matthew Schneider posted 29 saves through two periods, before giving way to sophomore goalie Riley Gerhardt who stopped 16 of 18 shots in the third.

The state boys hockey tournament begins next Thursday in Grand Forks.

Bis. Century 8, Jamestown 1BC 2 4 2 -- 8JHS 0 0 1 -- 1ScoringFirst period1. BC, Isaiah Thomas (conner Hanson, Paydin Slette), 11:34 PP; 2. BC, Thomas (Kirklan Irey), 13:23.Second period3. BC, Thomas (Irey), 0:41; 4. BC, Thomas (unassisted), 2:33; 5. BC, Irey (Slette, Nicholas Brown), 3:12; 6. BC, Slette (Irey), 14:11 PP.Third period7. J, Conner Fuchs (Conner Rene), 4:01 PP; 8. BC, Carter Bailey (Joel Huber, Grant Skibicki), 10:35; 9. BC, Skibicki (Conner Hanson), 16:00 PP.Goalie saves: BC, Cooper Leininger 6-3-5--14. J, Matthew Schneider 15-14-x--29; Rile Gerhardt x-x-16--16.
Penalties: BC, 7 for 20 minutes. J, 6 for 12 minutes.
Records: Century 19-4. Jamestown 12-10.
Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

(701) 952-8461
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