Andy Fitzgerald can't always predict the outcome of a Jamestown High School girls hockey game, but the head coach can be sure of one thing: His team is going to give it everything it's got.

The Blue Jays fell to Mandan in a 5-3 tilt Thursday evening at Wilson Arena. The loss puts the Jays at 2-4-0 in the standings while the Braves are 4-3-0. The Blue Jays are slated to host Dickinson on Saturday at 2 p.m.

While the score ended up in Mandan's favor the Blue Jays came out hot in the first. Ella Roaldson broke the ice with an unassisted goal. Just over a minute later, Mandan's Maci Berg snuck the puck past Erika Anderson to tie the game at one goal apiece.

"Mandan is a hardworking team and it was the type where you really had to work hard and grind things out to get any chances," Fitzgerald said.

The Blue Jays had another chance later in the first when Ellie Kreuger capitalized on a pass from Liv Frolich to make it 2-1 heading into the first 12-minute break.

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The second period is where Fitzgerald said the Blue Jays began to struggle.

"It was just kind of a sloppy game from our end," Fitzgerald said. "It was not due to a lack of effort but the game just kind of lacked flow. We had a hard time finding our stride after the first period."

Berg and Ana Ross found their stride for the Braves making it a 3-2 game by the time the second period ended. Fitzgerald said the Blue Jays have to continue working in practice on the fundamentals of the game, like making passes, catching passes and winning battles in the corners of the rink.

Mandan's Maci Berg (7) gets sandwiched between Jamestown's Ella Roaldson and Ellie Krueger (13) Thursday, Jan. 7. 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Mandan's Maci Berg (7) gets sandwiched between Jamestown's Ella Roaldson and Ellie Krueger (13) Thursday, Jan. 7. 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"This is a real hardworking team -- these girls don't quit," Fitzgerald said. "We made some mistakes and we took some penalties out there tonight, but we did everything going 100%. We have a lot of grit and they just keep going after it."

Roaldson went after the biscuit hard in the third, drilling it past Mandan netminder Jayli Wandler to make it a 4-3 game. Fitzgerald said the Blue Jays had a few more opportunities to put it between the posts but could never finish the play. The head coach said he hopes his team can begin to win those battles starting on Saturday.

After playing the Midgets the Jays will have six-straight road trips to round out the month of January.

"We're focused on Dickinson right now which will be a big game for us to bounce back after this Mandan loss," Fitzgerald said.

Mandan 5, Jamestown 3

MAN 1 2 2 -- 5

JAM 2 0 1 -- 3

SCORING

FIRST PERIOD

1. J, Ella Roaldson (unassisted), 11:36; 2. MAN, Maci Berg (Ana Ross), 12:50; 3. J, Ellie Krueger (Liv Frohlich), 14:19.

SECOND PERIOD

4. MAN, Isabella Holle (Berg, Kenlee Edland), 1:24; 5. MAN, Ross (Breanna Helbling), 8:05

THIRD PERIOD

6, MAN, Edland (unassisted), 1:00; 7. J, Roaldson (unassisted), 6:43; 8. MAN, Ross (Berg), 8:43.

Goalie saves: MAN, Jayli Wandler 7-7-11--25. J, Erika Anderson 14-12-6--32

Penalties: Mn, 7 for 14 minutes. J, 4 for 8 minutes.

Records: Mandan 4-3-0, Jamestown 2-5-0.