Jimmies to open ACHA tourney against Indiana Tech

The Jimmies open the ACHA Division I national hockey tournament facing Indiana Tech at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday at the Maryville University Hockey Center in Chesterfield, Missouri.

uj hockey 14 vs minot 021921
University of Jamestown's Logan Berggren (14) moves the puck against Paul O'Connor of Minot, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

A majority of Division I American Collegiate Hockey Association programs didn't play a single game in 2020-21.

A total of 44 out of 72, according to data kept by the league. The sobering result of a nation still grappling with a global pandemic just over a year into the fight.

For the University of Jamestown, this past season was an unpredictable patchwork of COVID-19 testing, quarantining, practicing, scheduling, playing, rescheduling, and seeing rival Minot State University, a lot.

But the latter was something Jimmie head coach Dean Stork viewed as a positive.

Jamestown played the two-time national champion Beavers 14 times in a season where not only were there just 28 programs active, only six of them -- Jamestown, Minot, Midland (Nebraska), Iowa State, Indiana Tech, and Ohio -- played 20 or more games.


Jamestown's season began with a 4-4 tie against Division II University of Mary on Oct. 7, nearly 200 days ago. A majority of Division I teams -- 15 programs in all -- played a dozen times or less.

"You feel bad for them, definitely," Stork said. "It's tough to see teams not being able to play and seeing kids not being able to dress up."

With all that said, Stork said the cream still rose to the top.

One year removed from the ACHA national tournament being canceled out of concern for human safety, Jamestown is back in the dance this weekend along with 15 of the nation's best teams.

The No. 10-ranked Jimmies open the tournament on day 2 this Saturday facing No. 7 Indiana Tech at the Maryville University Hockey Center in Chesterfield, Missouri. Chesterfield is a St. Louis suburb located west of downtown.

A Jamestown victory would ship the Jimmies to Sunday's quarterfinal round against either No. 15 Davenport or No. 2 Robert Morris. The Panthers and the Colonials face off Friday.

"Everybody's here for a reason," Stork said. "Because they're very good hockey teams. It's gonna be a battle each game."


uj hockey 14 vs minot 021921
University of Jamestown's Logan Berggren (14) moves the puck against Paul O'Connor of Minot, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Indiana Tech, winners of 15 out of 21 games played, is balanced offensively with forwards Matej Krasny (14 goals), Zach Bennett (13), Joel Holmberg (13), and Cameron Chabot (19 assists) all with 20 or more points.

The Warriors have won eight straight, including a 2-1 overtime victory against Aquinas College, Michigan, in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament championship held March 21 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

"We have to defend," Stork said. "There's a lot of skill -- a lot of offense -- that we're going to be playing against, so we have to make sure we're playing behind the puck and defending the puck before thinking offense."

Jamestown, having played a league-high 33 games, put together 14 wins this season with a group that includes 18 freshmen to just four seniors. The new faces helped produce a 4-9-1 mark against the 2019 national champion -- Minot -- during the unorthodox regular season.

"It was good experience for this young group," Stork said. "I'm glad we got to play those 30 games, instead of being a wash which a lot of other teams were this year.

"I think as a freshman coming in they got to play some good competition and develop. And, not only Minot, but we played Adrian twice, we played Iowa State twice. So they got some good experience."

Adrian College, Michigan, won the ACHA Division I crown in 2018. The Bulldogs, Minot, and Iowa State will all be in action this weekend in Missouri.


Freshman forward Jordon Kromm and senior forward Tyler Chavez-Leech have paced UJ's offense this season. Kromm has tossed in a team-leading 18 goals to complement Chavez-Leech's team-best 16 assists.

Both are inside the ACHA's top 20 in scoring. Kromm has punched in an ACHA-leading four short-handed goals.

Jamestown senior goalie Tyson Brouwer is third in the league with 11 wins. He's one of just four goalies in Division I to play 15 or more games this season with 28.

"We have a very young team; the youngest team in the tournament," Stork said. "But we're a young bunch that just wants to work hard and get better every day."

The tournament begins Friday with tournament host Maryville playing No. 4 Liberty, Virginia, at 10:15 a.m.

"We're only guaranteed one game," Stork said. "They battled all year long to be in this situation and get this opportunity, and now it's right in front of us.

"Now all we've gotta do is just go ahead and earn it."

ACHA Hockey


Men's Division I Tournament

At Maryville University Hockey Center

Chesterfield, Missouri

April 16

G1: (13) Maryville vs. (4) Liberty, 10:15 a.m.

G2: (14) Canisius College vs. (3) Lindenwood, 1:30 p.m.

G3: (15) Davenport vs. (2) Robert Morris, 4:45 p.m.

G4: (16) McKendree vs. (1) Adrian College, 8 p.m.


April 17

G5: (12) Missouri State vs. (5) Ohio, 10:15 a.m.

G6: (11) Calvin University vs. (6) Minot State, 1:30 p.m.

G7: (10) Jamestown vs. (7) Indiana Tech, 4:45 p.m.

G8: (9) Aquinas College vs. (8) Iowa State, 8 p.m.

April 18

G9: G1 winner vs. G5 winner, 10:15 a.m.

G10: G2 winner vs. G6 winner, 1:30 p.m.


G11: G3 winner vs. G7 winner, 4:45 p.m.

G12: G4 winner vs. G8 winner, 8 p.m.

April 19

G13: Lowest seed vs. highest seed, 3:30 p.m.

G14: Third-highest seed vs. second-highest seed, 7 p.m.

April 20

Championship: G13 winner vs. G14 winner, 7 p.m.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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