Good effort, but not enough from Blue Jay girls hockey Friday
The Jamestown High School girls hockey team took on Minot on Dec. 9, 2022, at Wilson Arena.
JAMESTOWN — Things started and ended great for the Jamestown High School girls hockey team Friday evening.
It was just the middle part that put a win out of reach.
"We played two good periods of hockey," JHS head coach Andy Fitzgerald said. "We had a letdown in the second. It's early in the season but we've got to learn how to put together three solid periods of hockey. We can't afford to have second periods like we did tonight."
Fitzgerald and the Blue Jays dropped 3-0 to Minot to fall to 2-2-0 in the state standings. The squad will get right back at it Saturday with a tilt against Williston. The puck is scheduled to drop at 1 p.m. at Wilson Arena.
The Blue Jays were saved by the clock in the opening period.
With about two minutes remaining in the first, Minot began to pepper Blue Jay netminder Olivia Sorlie who managed to come up with 12 saves in the first. While the Majettes controlled much of the offensive pace in the opening 17 minutes, the Blue Jay defense remained stubborn pushing every shot wide of the net.
On the other side of the ice, Minot's Jillian Ackerman made five saves.
The clock wasn't the Jays' friend to open up the second.
Minot senior Payton Lang only had two assists entering the game but she'll be leaving the Buffalo City with a pair of assists and a pair of goals.
With just 33 seconds gone in the second, Taylyn Cope went down the ice and passed one out to Lang who flicked the biscuit past Sorlie to give her team the lead. Two minutes after the celebration, Lang got another one scored off the assist from Eve Slind and Grace Kersten to put the Majettes up 2-0 over the home team.
When it rains it pours.
A miscommunication by the Blue Jays left them shorthanded and in the meantime the Majettes went down and scored another, this time by Cope, to put them up by three.
Fitzgerald said the Jays just got broken down by the Majettes' early goal in the second. The head coach said the squad will have to learn how to bounce back quicker than they did Friday because as he said:
"Goals are going to happen."
Sorlie came up with 11 saves off 14 shots on goal while Ackerman was responsible for making three saves.
"Olivia has been awesome all year," Fitzgerald said. "She kept us in the game, especially in that second period. We had the puck in her hand most of the time and she was steady. They could have easily scored five or six goals in that period so her being in the game like that was huge and it gave us a chance going into the third."
The Jays' energy coming into the third was what kept Jamestown in the game and stalled Minot from scoring any more points. The Blue Jays' offense picked up dramatically putting 11 shots on goal while Minot only managed nine shots on goal.
"We told them that we just had to get back to the way that we were playing in the first period," Fitzgerald said. "We were successful in the first period getting pucks deep and getting some to the net. It was good to see the resiliency of the team.
"It's still a young season so we are still learning what we've got in there and to see them bounce back after a bad period and not hang their heads and got after it — it was good to see," he said. "We outshot them and I thought we outplayed them too so hopefully that momentum carries into our big game tomorrow against Williston."
While the Jays are 0-2 this week, Fitzgerald said powerhouse programs like West Fargo United and Minot give the Jays a good idea of what needs to be worked on in practices so they can prepare for the rest of the games on their schedule.
While the details haven't been hammered out for the game on Saturday, the basic principle of skating hard and competing will be the Jays' play against Williston.
"They are going to be solid," Fitzgerald said of the Coyotes. "There's a lot of parody in the league this year and we're going to come ready to go. We realize that anybody can beat anybody and it just depends if we can come out and string together three good periods."
Minot 3, Jamestown 0
MIN 0 3 0 — 3
JHS 0 0 0 — 0
First period: No scoring.
Second period: 1. MIN, Payton Lang (Taylyn Cope), 0:33; 2. MIN, Lang (Eve Slind, Grace Kersten), 2:31; 3. Cope (Marissa Votava), 5:39.
Third period: No scoring.
Goalie saves: Minot, Jillian Ackerman 5-3-11—19; Jamestown, Olivia Sorlie 12-11-9—32
Penalties: Minot 4 for 8 minutes; Jamestown 2 for 4 minutes.