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Blue Jays conclude regular season against Firebirds

Devils Lake defeated the JHS girls hockey team 3-2 Tuesday night at Wilson Arena.

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Jamestown's Bernadette Belzer (15) controls the puck in front of Ashlyn Abrahamson (16) of Devils Lake Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Jamestown High School girls hockey team is headed to the 2021 state tournament no matter what, but it would have surely been nice to get a win anyway.

Especially on senior night.

The Blue Jays fell to Devils Lake 3-2 Tuesday night at Wilson Arena ending the regular season at 4-12-1-2.

"There's disappointment right now because of the loss here to Devils Lake," JHS head coach Andy Fitzgerald said. "But it's not going to be long and we're going to be looking to next Tuesday and getting ready for our first state tournament game and we're excited for that."

The Blue Jays secured the eighth-seed headed into the state tournament with an 8-1 over Dickinson on Feb. 12. The trip to the tournament is the Jays' first since 2013. The Blue Jays are slated to play Fargo North/South in the opening round of the tournament in Fargo on Feb. 25.

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Jamestown's Bernadette Belzer (15) controls the puck in front of Ashlyn Abrahamson (16) of Devils Lake Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Firebirds missed the tournament as the team was only able to put up a 2-14-0-0 record.

Kaycee Johnson has been a part of the Blue Jay hockey team since sixth grade when she started playing with fellow seniors Kendra Paiment, Sydney Mittleider, Ella Roaldson and Erika Anderson. The game was the last Johnson would ever play at Wilson Arena and Johnson made the most of it.

Johnson kept the Jays in the game with a goal off an assist from Bernadette Belzer and Ellie Krueger. The score came after Julia McIvor and Ashlyn Abrahamson had made it a 2-0 game.

"I am not really a goal scorer so I didn't expect to score at all, but I was overjoyed that I was able to get one in especially on such a fantastic goalie," Johnson said.

The Firebirds' netminder, Molly Black, was ranked as the 12th best goalie in the state with a 93% save percentage.

Abrahamson scored 40 seconds after Johnson landed the goal to make it 3-1. A minute later the officials assessed a penalty on Firebirds head coach Rob McIvor for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Blue Jays took advantage.

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Roaldson has led the Blue Jays in scoring the past four seasons racking up and was the team's second-leading scorer in 2016-17 as an eighth-grader.

It was a stat the senior added to Tuesday.

Roaldson got the puck off an assist from Madi Hagen and with a flick of her stick, the puck settled into the back of the net to make it a one-score game. Both Anderson and Firebirds' netminder Molly Black made nine saves in the second frame but the Firebirds outshot the visitors 12-11 in the second period.

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Jamestown's Liv Frohlich moves the puck across the ice against Devils Lake Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"I think I was more excited scoring this goal more than almost any goal this season just because the game was so close and it was so exciting," Roaldson said. "It's kind of relieving when you score goals like that and you shorten up a lead."

Neither team scored in the third period.

The Blue Jay seniors total more than 15 years of varsity hockey experience. Fitzgerald said the crop of 2021 seniors have been dedicated long before he took over the program four years ago. This year's seniors have helped to instill important lessons in Fitzgerald's younger batch of players.

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"These five girls mean the world to me," Fitzgerald said. "Seeing all the work they've put in over the last four years and how far they've taken the program. It's a testament to their hard work and dedication to our hockey team."

Devils Lake 3, Jamestown 2

DL 0 3 0 -- 3

JHS 0 2 0 -- 2

Scoring

First period: No scoring.

Second period: 1. DL, Julia McIvor (unassisted), 2:44; 2. DL, Ashlyn Abrahamson (unassisted), 9:11; 3. JHS, Kaycee Johnson (Bernadette Belzer, Ellie Krueger), 11:51; 4. DL, Abrahamson (unassisted), 12:30.

Third period: No scoring.

Goalie Saves: DL, Molly Black 14-9-10--33; JHS, Erika Anderson 2-9-8--19.

Penalties: DL 3 for 6 minutes; JHS 4 for 2 minutes

Records: Jamestown 4-12-1-2; Devils Lake 2-14-0-0.

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Jamestown's Liv Frohlich moves the puck across the ice against Devils Lake Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

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