Jamestown High School's senior captain defensemen Megan Albrecht and Ashlyn Schauer had plenty to smile about Friday on the Hockey Day North Dakota outdoor ice.
Sure, Saturday's contest between the Blue Jay girls and Devils Lake was postponed to Monday because of a little snow and blow, but Albrecht and Schauer picked up an apparent ringer for a coed scrimmage between the JHS boys and girls hockey teams.
The Jays were on the ice just prior to No. 14 University of Jamestown playing No. 3 Minot State University with snow fluttering to the ground and the air temperature holding at around a rather pleasant 20 degrees.
"Well, we're switching goalies so the score will probably get switched around," said Albrecht, whose JHS white team ultimately defeated the JHS blue team in the scrimmage 11-5. "But we also have Hunter Nelson on our team and he's pretty good, I think .... and me and Ashlyn, who are obviously amazing."
Nelson, a sophomore forward for JHS boys coach Matt Stockert, is second on the 6-6 Blue Jays with 18 points and is tied with freshman Nolan Nenow for the team lead in goals scored with 12. The up-and-comer deflected credit during Friday's victory.
"I think it's a team effort more than anything right now," smiled Nelson, as JHS white led 9-4. "They (blue) got a five-minute penalty somehow. I don't know how that works?"
Nelson and the JHS boys are also now scheduled to play competitively outdoors on Monday, as Saturday's schedule was shifted to Monday because of the early-weekend winter weather. The boys will play West Fargo Sheyenne at 3:30 p.m. with the girls vs. Devils Lake kicking things off at 11 a.m.
The JHS boys are hoping to get back to full strength for the season's stretch run, as injuries and sickness has contributed to four consecutive losses.
"We're starting to get some guys healthy and get rolling again," said JHS senior Tommy Falk, who also played on Friday's winning JHS white team. "We had a crappy week and a half, but I like how the boys are feeling."
West Fargo Sheyenne (2-12) has victories over Devils Lake and Willmar, Minnesota, this season. Jamestown has eight games remaining on the schedule with the West Region tournament in Bismarck roughly a month away.
"We don't want to blame any of our losses on our health issues or anything, we just think we've gotten a little unlucky these past couple games and we've got to keep pushing," Nelson said. "Work hard, get in the corners. Beat their goaltender."
Schauer and the Blue Jay girls (4-7) are looking forward to Monday. Jamestown fell 2-1 to Devils Lake in December and lost an 8-0 decision to a stout Bismarck team last season in the first Hockey Day North Dakota game ever played.
"It'll be nice to play a team we are more evenly-matched with," Schauer said. "It's a really cool environment to be around, even now that it's snowing. It changes the way you play, it changes what you're doing and it's just a fun time."
Bad weather or not, Hockey Day organizers have appeared to once again hit the mark. Kids are having fun.
"We got a little taste of it last year," said Falk. "It brings you back to when you're 12 playing on (the ice at) McElroy Park. Stuff like this is really fun."
Schauer concluded: "It's really kind of amazing that we get this opportunity."
Jimmies vs. Minot
Jamestown was leading Minot 1-0 in a snowy second period Friday night when the Jamestown Sun went to press.
UJ senior forward Cole McKechney scored with 1 minute, 51 seconds remaining in the second period, assisted by Jeremy McNeil and Carter Johnson. UJ and Minot, the defending American Collegiate Hockey Association national champion, were tied in the season series at 2-2 entering the night.
"It's hockey weather, I guess," said UJ senior goaltender Tyson Brouwer prior to the game's start. "Play our game. Can't let the weather affect us.
"We gotta get pucks on net, gotta be physical."
Walking onto the ice prior to the opening faceoff, UJ senior defenseman Trevor Okino was soaking in the winter wonderland-type scene.
"There's no words," said Okino, a native of Richmond, British Columbia. "It's exciting. We're just hoping for the win and both teams have fun."