Blue Jays skate past Dickinson, headed back to Grand Forks
The Jamestown High School boys hockey team faced Dickinson in a state qualifier on Feb. 18.
MINOT — Following the Jamestown High School boys hockey team's game against Dickinson on Saturday, the PSP network tweeted out a photo of Blue Jay goaltender, Andrew Walz making a save, with the caption:
"@JaysHockey ... Andrew Walz is on a different level. The save of the tournament ... and the season. Wow."
Walz and his "different level" of play helped the Jays punch their ticket to the 2023 State Hockey Tournament. The Blue Jays topped Dickinson 3-1 in the state qualifying game.
"I honestly don't know if we could have more medication in a locker room than we've had in the last few days," JHS head coach Matt Stockert said. "The kids are sick and run down and so today was literally a 110% gritty effort to move us along to the state tournament."
The state tourney is scheduled to be held in Grand Forks Feb. 23-25. Jamestown is the four-seed out of the West Region.
Walz, a senior, has been a part of the Jamestown High School varsity hockey roster since his sophomore season
The senior was the Jays' backup goalie to two-year starter Brode Hillstrom last season. He played 4.83 games last season and went 4-0 averaging just 1.03 goals allowed per game. He was ranked third in the state with a 94.4 save percentage.
He's upped those numbers just a little bit this season.
Andrew has played 21.67 games and has allowed 64 total goals for an average of 2.95 per game. He's 12-8 on the year and has a save percentage of 90.7 to rank him 26th out of 39 total North Dakota goalies.
In the Jays' three games at the WDA tournament, Walz made 104 saves, 38 of which came against the Midgets.
"There were some really, really good saves that he made," Stockert said. "Then a lot of the other pucks that were being thrown on him were where we wanted them to be thrown at him — from the outside.
"We played pretty well defensively in the second and third periods. Between the good goaltending from Andrew and good defensive play and putting pucks in the net that's the combination of a win."
Dickinson outshot the Blue Jays 39-23.
"It was almost an exact replica of the game that was played in Jamestown but on the opposite end," Stockert said. "We outshot them a lot to a little in Jamestown and today it got flipped.
"Sometimes in the game of hockey, that happens. While the quality chances were limited, thankfully our defensemen, our forwards and Andrew made sure their quality opportunities counted."
After a scoreless first period, the Blue Jays jumped out to a two-point lead with goals scored by Max Mehus and Easton Romsdal.
Dickinson's Cole Kadrmas made things interesting with a goal netted at the at the 7:13 mark but Ashton Stockert put a Midgets' win out of reach. Stockert flicked one past Dickinson goaltender Bryce Kadrmas with about eight minutes left to secure the win and send the Jays to the state tournament for the 22nd time in program history.
Walz, Brooks Roaldson and Jarrett Zalumskis were named to the West Region All-Tournament Team. Roaldson and Minot's Jaxon Bradley were named Co-Senior Athletes of the Year.
All and all, it was a pretty great ending to a jam-packed weekend.
"Just the sheer guttiness of the performance that they had to have — I am absolutely overly proud of the boys," Stockert said.
Jamestown 3, Dickinson 1
DHS 0 0 1 — 1
JHS 0 2 1 — 3
1. JHS, Max Mehus (Brooks Roaldson), 13:13; 2. JHS, Easton Romsdal (Roaldson), 15:27.
3. DHS, Cole Kadrmas (unassisted), 7:13; 4. JHS, Ashton Stockert (Owen Struble), 9:06.
Goalie saves: Dickinson, Bryce Kadrmas 10-5-5—20; Jamestown, Andrew Walz 13-9-16—38.
Penalties: Dickinson 4 for 8 minutes; Jamestown 7 for 14 minutes.