Jamestown goalie Brode Hillstrom kept tabs on Bottineau/Rugby's Ian Amsbaugh all night Friday at Wilson Arena, but one of the state's most prolific scorers was still a menace in the third period.
Amsbaugh accounted for a goal and a pair of assists but the Braves' final-frame rally fell short. The Blue Jays skated to a fourth consecutive win with a 6-4 victory over the visiting Braves after leading 5-1 through two periods.
"I saw he switched to defense in the third period there for the most part," Hillstrom said of Amsbaugh, who led the state in scoring last season. "He's got a heckuva shot and you gotta watch for that, and he sees the ice really well so you just gotta be aware of where he is and how he plays."
The Braves (2-4-0-0) rallied to within a score with three goals to kick off the third before the Blue Jays' Jace Thompson put the game away with Jamestown's sixth tally at 13:51. Thompson also added three assists for the Jays, who outshot the Braves 40-14 through two periods before Bottineau/Rugby turned the tables 22-6 in the third.
"It has a lot to do with No. 16 (Amsbaugh) on their team, he's one of the best hockey players in the state," said Jamestown coach Matt Stockert. "I think going into the third period, I don't want to say for certain, but the mojo from the room out to the ice just kinda felt like, 'Ah, we got this one wrapped up,' and we're looking at tomorrow type of thing.
"You can't do that. You gotta be ready to go every single shift."
The Blue Jays were riding high early, 10 days removed from polishing off a three-game winning streak on the road that included a 5-4 victory over the Braves in Rugby. Junior defenseman Braxton Jorissen scored back-to-back goals in a span of 26 seconds less than two minutes after the game's opening faceoff.
Nolan Nenow put the Jays up 3-0 on the power play with less than three minutes to skate in the first period before the Braves finally cracked the scoreboard off the stick of Landon Rosendahl at 16:34, who also scored on the power play. Hunter Nelson and Nenow's second tally of the night had the Blue Jays leading 5-1 to begin the final 17 minutes.
Jamestown outshot the Braves 23-4 in period No. 2.
"The game was kinda reminiscent of the game last Tuesday in Rugby," Stockert said. "Those first two periods we played really well and played a lot of time in their own end. I didn't think we played horrible in the third period, just the mistakes that we made ended up costing us goals in the back of our own net."
Hillstrom made 19 saves in the third, en route to 32 in the game.
"We didn't really come prepared to play in the third period," Hillstrom said. "We had to try and keep our momentum going by getting that goal late. Clearing the pucks in front of the net, that's big. Can't have those rebounds sitting there. Otherwise, we did a pretty good job clearing pucks."
The Blue Jays (5-1-0-1) will look to push their streak to five games Saturday at Dickinson (1-4-0-0).
"They're no slouch," Hillstrom said. "We can't just come expecting to win. We gotta be prepared before the game, gotta keep the boys grinding and we'll get it done."
"Thankfully we played really well the first two periods and had five on the board before they got their motor rolling tonight," Stockert added. "Hopefully lesson learned and we can move on from here."
Jamestown 6, Bottineau/Rugby 4
BR 1 0 3 -- 4
JHS 3 2 1 -- 6
1. J, Braxton Jorissen (Cooper Allen), 1:29; 2. J, Jorissen (Joe Cumings, Jace Thompson), 1:55; 3. J, Nolan Nenow (Gavin Gerhardt, Thompson), PP, 14:16; 4. BR, Landon Rosendahl (Ian Amsbaugh, Adam Handeland), PP, 16:34.
5. J, Hunter Nelson (Brooks Roaldson, Alex Stockert), 2:04; 6. J, Nenow (Thompson), 8:23.
7. BR, Amsbaugh (Rosendahl, Alex Lorenz), 0:23; 8. BR, Colton Getzlaff (Amsbaugh), 6:08; 9. BR, Landon Rosendahl (Matt Olson, Ian Amsbaugh), 11:56; 10. J, Thompson (Jorissen, Cummings), 13:51.
Goalie saves: BR, Tyler Olson 14-21-5--40. J, Brode Hillstrom 9-4-19--32
Penalties: BR, 5 for 10 minutes. J, 5 for 10 minutes
Records: Jamestown 5-1-0-1. Bottineau/Rugby 2-4-0-0.