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New look Jimmies hoping to build upon the past successes

The Jimmies head into season with an all-time record of 117-76-16.

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The Jimmies' Jaysen MacLean keeps his eye on the incoming puck fired to him by teammate Mario DeCapite during a practice on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, at Wilson Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — The University of Jamestown men's hockey team will look very different this season from the team it had in 2021-22, with one of the changes being the team joining a conference for the first time in program history.

The team lost its last two remaining original players in forward Jason Richter and goalie Tyson Brouwer but gained one of the original players back with the hiring of Ned Simpson to be the new assistant coach after the departure of Bryce Nybo.

“He knows exactly what to expect from me on a coaching standpoint with preparation and focus and practice habits and game time routine,” Jimmies head coach Dean Stork said.

In total, the Jimmies lost seven players from last year’s roster.

Richter also hands the captaincy off to Carter Johnson to lead the team.

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“It’s been an awesome ride so far and I’m excited for the future, but I know there are a lot of hardworking captains that have been on this team and I look to be a part of that group of the guys as hardworking leaders of this team,” Johnson said.

The Jimmies are joining the Midwest College Hockey Conference. In games against MCH teams, the Jimmies are 22-5-1 all time. Stork said he is hoping the conference schedule will help his team keep their energy up throughout the season.

One of the constants of the team has been the bench boss as Stork has been the head coach for six of the program’s seven seasons. Stork will not let himself or his players look too far ahead and will instead be concentrating on the game immediately in front of them.

“We’re actually taking it day by day, by game, by game, we’re not looking too far this year,” Stork said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to go to the national tournament six years in a row which is good, haven’t done much at the national tournament because I think our focus is too much on the long-term goal.”

The Jimmies opened the preseason with a 15-1 win over St. Cloud (Minnesota) State University on Sept. 25. The Jimmies open the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, when they host Minot State.

Stork said the team has not announced who the opening night goalie will be as they are waiting to see who emerges from the group of six.

“We got some good goaltenders, we have six good ones here, so it’s an opportunity now for someone to step up and take the pipes,” Stork said. “We’re in a little bit of a rotation right now to see who earns it and who wants it and who will play well with it.”

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The Cardinals are trying to get back to the state tournament for the first time since 2018.

The Jimmies come into the season opener after finishing last year with a loss to Stony Brook University in the first round of the ACHA National Championships.

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“I don’t have any real points goals because that’s not my mentality,” Johnson said. “(My mentality) is to win games in this point in time. I’m ready to win, it’s something that’s important. We’ve kind of gotten snubbed the last couple years of not making it past the first round of that national championship run so I’m looking to get into that position again and go further.”

Despite being second on the team in goals last season and having the most among returning players, Logan Berggren finished the season on an eight-game goalless drought.

“The good thing is in all those games the chances were not going away, it was just a matter of sometimes they don’t go in,” Berggren said. “Like I said before, you cannot get fixated on goals and you have to fuel on your work ethic and seeing like maybe you’re not scoring that time, well, are you assisting? Are you doing things to help your team win? Are you hitting, because sometimes it’s a game of luck. Personally, I try to not think about it too much, I just try to leave it in the past and come in with a new fresh attitude.”

Outside of Berggren, the Jimmies are returning five of their top six leading points-getters, which Stork said gives him a lot of confidence heading into the season.

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Dean Stork is in his fifth season as head coach of University of Jamestown's men's hockey team.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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