'A special night': Blue Jays cap off home schedule with a win

The Jamestown High School boys hockey team hosted Mandan on Tuesday evening.

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Jamestown's Vaughn Romsdal (12) guides the puck along between teammate, Brooks Roaldson (26) and Mandan's Cameron Beaver (11) on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, at Wilson Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — Jamestown High School head boys hockey coach, Matt Stockert, had plenty of nice things to say about his 13 seniors.

"I could go on for hours," Stockert said. "I have stories that would make you laugh, make you cry ... these 13 seniors exemplify what our program is about."

Stockert's poetic speech was just the icing on the cake to a pretty darn near-perfect senior night at the John L.

The Blue Jays ended their home schedule with a 3-2 win over Mandan Tuesday night. The win slots the Jays' as the No. 5 team in the West Region with 31 points. The Jays' West Region record now stands at 9-5 while overall the crew is 10-7-2.

Jamestown will be at Fargo North on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. matchup and then will cap off its three-game week with a tilt at Bismarck High on Saturday.


"We wanted to win that one pretty bad," senior Gavin Gerhardt said. "This group of guys hasn't lost on a senior night yet so it was pretty important to us to win that won. It felt awesome."

The crew of 13 seniors has been playing hockey together for at least seven years as a group and has shared some unforgettable memories along the way from competing and winning youth hockey tournaments to racking up the Jays' first WDA tournament title since 1995.

"There's more than one greatest memory with this group," Gerhardt said. "All the times staying in hotels and traveling together — we have some pretty fun times either on the bus or on car rides or in the hotel rooms — it's always a fun time with the group of guys that we have."

Gerhardt and Max Mehus, the two co-op players out of Valley City, have been in the Blue Jay prep program since the 2020-21 season. The 11 other seniors out of Jamestown, have really drawn the pair in to make the group a cohesive Class of 2023.

"We used to be rivals when we younger," senior Easton Romsdal said. "Now that we've adjusted we've become really good friends and it's the best thing ever for us. They bring us success and we're all so glad we get to play together."

Gerhardt and Romsdal were two of the Jays' keys to success Tuesday.

Both teams were in a different gear through the first period, forcing goaltenders Andrew Walz and Dominic Kautzmann to be on their toes from the first faceoff.

The Jays wound up outshooting the Braves 15-8 in the first period.


"We knew (Mandan) was going to give us a good game," Gerhardt said. "We had the mentality that we had to get our feet moving and have a lot of urgency to start the game.

"It showed right away when we were outworking them down low in their zone and we were getting a lot of shots on net."

Gerhardt was the first to find twine sneaking one past Kautzmann off an assist from Nate Walz.

"When we broke the puck out, I saw Nate go wide and saw the open ice and I was just thinking that I had to get open for him so he could get the puck.

"I had a guy on me and I shook him off, Nate gave me the puck and I just steered on net and it went it."

About two and a half minutes later, Mandan's Tate Olson poked one through the Blue Jays' defenses to make it 1-1 entering the first break.

Romsdal continued the Jays' trend of senior scoring, knocking in a shot off assists from Brooks Roaldson and Max Mehus. The goal was Romsdal's fifth of the year.

"It was awesome," Romsdal said. "I just wanted to get one in the last game. Jumping into the student section was pretty awesome too."


Jamestown appeared staunchly in control in the second until officials assessed a five-minute major to Gerhardt, giving Mandan a 5-on-4 advantage. The Jays lasted half of the five minutes without giving up a goal.

At the 15-minute mark, Tukker Horner drilled the biscuit past Walz to tie the affair at two goals apiece.

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Jamestown's Reagan Sortland gets after the puck with a slap shot towards the Mandan goal Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, at John L. Wilson Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

After a five-minute rest in the box, Gerhardt appeared well-rested, evidenced by the senior notching his second goal of the night to make it 3-2 Jays early in the final period.

"I was kind of mad at myself for that penalty so when I got back out on the ice I made it my goal to score so I could redeem myself and get another for my team," Gerhardt said. "Nate got the puck and he dropped it down low to me, I said, here's my opportunity and fired on net.

"When it went in, it was just the greatest feeling ever," he said.
Jamestown maintained the lead, thanks to Walz's cat-like reflexes in front of the goal. The senior goalie faced 13 shots in the final period and made a total of 33 saves in the game.

Mandan pulled Kautzmann in the last 16 seconds to try and force overtime but Jamestown's fierce skating and physicality on the ice ended it 3-2.

"It's always a special night on senior night and parents night," Stockert said. "The kids put together three pretty good periods tonight.

"We had good goaltending, we cleared pucks when we needed to and had a little bit of fun tonight that's for sure," he said.


Jamestown 3, Mandan 2

MAN 1 1 0 — 2

JHS 1 1 1 — 3


First period

1. JHS, Gavin Gerhardt (Nate Walz), 12:38; 2. MAN, Tate Olson (unassisted), 15:08.

Second period

3. JHS, Easton Romsdal (Brooks Roaldson, Max Mehus), 3:47; 4. MAN, Tukker Horner (Parker Drengson, Tate Olson), 15:00.


Third period

5. JHS, Gavin Gerhardt (N. Walz, Owen Struble), 4:27.

Goalie saves: Mandan, Dominic Kautzmann 14-10-15—39; Jamestown, Andrew Walz 7-13-13—33

Penalties: Mandan 0 for 0 minutes; Jamestown 3 for 9 minutes.

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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