Friday night's game between Jamestown and Bismarck Century had everything you could want in a boys hockey game.
Some yelling, cheering, fighting, penalties, a broken stick, a whole lot of shots and nine goals scored.
"I think it's just hockey out there being played," JHS head coach Matt Stockert said. "They made things difficult for us at certain times but for the most part I liked our energy and I liked our grit."
The Blue Jays fell 6-3 to the Patriots at Wilson Arena. The Jays are now split on the season having defeated Bismarck High 3-0 on Tuesday. The Blue Jays will travel to Minot tomorrow (Dec. 19). The puck is scheduled to drop at 4:30 p.m.
Play on the ice turned aggressive early between the two West Region rivals with the Pats taking the early lead just under three minutes in off a goal from senior Kieffer Long. In the six minutes that followed, the Patriots had buried three more goals to establish a commanding 4-0 lead.
"Century's pace was pretty heavy right out of the gate so that played a factor," Stockert said. "I think sometimes teams need to have a little of what I call 'puck luck' and Bismarck Century had some puck luck in that first period."
After the first 12-minute break, the Blue Jays began to have some of their own puck luck.
With 5:51 gone in the second period, the Jays were putting the pressure on the Patriots -- not allowing the puck to reach center ice frustrating the Bismarck Century defense.
"I thought we played well in the second period and kind of took it to them a little bit," Stockert said. "We made it hard for them to get out of their zone."
Senior Jace Thompson let the biscuit deflect off his stick to sophomore Nolan Newnow who in turn used Nelson as a scoring mechanism to give the Jays their first points of the game.
Three minutes later, Nenow, the Jays' leading scorer from a season ago, buried his second goal of the season to make the score 5-2 Patriots. The sophomore forward has racked up four points so far this season.
The Patriots outshot the Jays' 41 to 27 during the 51-minute stretch.
Century's Ryan Keup made it a four-point game again after drilling another past first-year starting netminder Brode Hillstrom. Jace Thompson scored the final goal of the game one minute later.
"I feel like we worked really hard tonight," Nelson said. "In the second and third period, we were starting to work better together and were getting a lot of opportunities."
While Stockert saw his team come up on the wrong side of the score, he said he saw improvements being made on the ice.
Against Bismarck High, the Jays ended up in the box for 18 minutes off of nine penalties. Contrastly against the Patriots, the Blue Jays recorded just four two-minute minors to round out the 51 minutes.
The Jays also made some line changes to start game No. 2 and Stockert commended his players on their response to the switch.
"Overall we're just trying to get the right mesh of kids and I think we took a step forward in that regard," Stockert said. "It'll be a conversation tomorrow if we stick with it or if we switch some things up again."
Regardless of what the lines look like, Stockert and his players are just hoping for a win at MAYSA Arena.
"We just have to put this game behind us and look forward to Minot tomorrow," Nelson said.
Bismarck Century 6, Jamestown 3
BC 4 1 1 -- 6
JHS 0 2 1 -- 3
First Period: 1. BC, Kieffer Long (Alek Fosland) 2:18; 2. BC, Colton Schulte (unassisted) 3:38; 3. BC. Cullen Curl (Schulte, Fosland) 7:33; 4. BC, Ryan Keup (Long) 8:18.
Second Period: 5. BC, Quinn Rosten (Fosland, Kadin Kisse) 2:00; 6. JHS, Hunter Nelson (Jace Thompson, Nolan Nenow) 5:51; 7. JHS, Nenow (unassisted) 8:08.
Third Period: 8. BC, Keup, (unassisted), 3:05; 9. JHS, Thompson (Nelson, Conner McLachlan) 4:17.
Penalties: BC, 9 for 26 minutes.; J, 4 for 8 minutes.
Goalie Saves: BC, Luke Pengilly 6-13-5--24. JHS, Brode Hillstrom 13-8-14--35.
Records: Bismarck Century 2-0, Jamestown 1-1