OVERTIME HEROICS: Jays' Thompson scores game-winner
Jamestown High School boys hockey has lately taken advantage of plenty of free hockey.
The Blue Jays played their fourth straight overtime game Tuesday evening at John L. Wilson Arena, receiving a game-winning tally by sophomore forward Jace Thompson with 16 seconds remaining in the 8-minute extra frame against visiting Dickinson.
Jamestown won 4-3, notching a fourth victory in its last five contests, including a 4-3 overtime win against Dickinson on Jan. 5.
"It was fun," Thompson said. "It's always awesome, especially an OT goal. (It) means so much."
The game-winner started with the Jays' Tommy Falk passing the puck to Corey Nelson from behind the net, who backhanded the biscuit to Thompson—with most of the net open—for the final tally.
"Corey and I have really good chemistry. We all do on the first line," Thompson said. "Corey usually knows where I will be and I know where he will be, usually. I was just there and I put it in."
Tuesday night was another game where Jamestown's first line of Falk, Thompson and Nelson had to grind it out. Dickinson's Ryan Bren scored a pair of first-period goals at 49 seconds and 7:47 to take a 2-0 lead after one period.
The Blue Jays' Joe Cummings cut the lead in half at 2-1 with a wrist shot off a face off.
"First period we started out a little flat," said Blue Jay coach Matt Stockert. "We turned the puck over two times, which ended up in the back of our net. I told the kids that's not how we play and we have to do things better clearing the puck and making better decisions."
Jamestown's first line took over in the third.
Falk leveled the game at 2-2 with a shorthanded goal at the 8:53 mark, after a turnover put the puck on the junior's forehand. But the Midgets' Peyton Hanson gave them back the lead roughly a minute later.
Thompson came in clutch, however, with 55 seconds remaining as a shot trickled in and the game went to overtime.
"In the second and third period, that was just gritty hockey and that's what we need to do," Stockert said. "We need to win battles along the wall and clear pucks the way we need to clear them."
Jamestown's first line now has 57 points on the season (28 goals, 29 assists), while the rest of the team has 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists).
"No coach never wants to have three guys so top heavy in regards to goals and assists," Stockert said. "More importantly, we have a second and third line that I can't remember when they were scored on. If they go out there and do their jobs it'll be a complete, 100-percent effort."
The Blue Jays' goalie Riley Gerhardt stopped 44 of 47 pucks in net. The Valley City native has stopped 193 out of 207 shots (93 percent) during the five-game stretch.
"He played great and that's what we want," Stockert said. "You need to have a good kid standing there between the pipes and right now he's seeing the puck real well."
Jamestown (4-8-1) takes on Williston on Saturday afternoon at the Hockey Day North Dakota at Allen Field on the University of Jamestown campus. The Coyotes and Jays tied at 3-3 back on Dec. 8, but Williston won in a shootout.
"It should be a good, fun event," Stockert said. "Pure Hockey Skills has done a lot of work over at Allen Field and everybody is appreciative of what they've done. It should be a good, fun weekend of hockey for the youth programs and high school teams in North Dakota."
Jamestown 4, Dickinson 3 (OT)
DHS 2 0 1 0 -- 3
JHS 0 1 1 1 -- 4
1. D, Ryan Bren (Unassisted), 0:49, 8; 2. D, Bren (Joesph Park, Evan Groll), 7:47, 9.
3. J, Joe Cummings (Alex Stockert), 13:38, 3, PP.
4. J, Tommy Falk (Jace Thompson), 11:57, 9; 5. D, Peyton Hanson (Evan Groll), 13:30, 3, PP; 6. J, Thompson (Falk, Sam Halko), 9, 16:05.
7. J, Thompson (Nelson, Falk), 7:44, 10.
Penalties: J, 2 for 4 minutes. D, 4 for 8 minutes.
Goalie saves: J, Riley Gerhardt 15-11-13-5--44. D, Riley Wattenberg 8-10-8-1--27.
Records: Jamestown 5-8-1. Dickinson 10-5-0.