'It's just good fun': Blue Jays take Dickinson to a shootout
The Jamestown High School boys hockey team faced Dickinson on Jan. 17.
JAMESTOWN — Shootouts never get old — but they might be giving Jamestown High School head boys hockey coach, Matt Stockert, some gray hairs.
"It's a lot more fun to win it in overtime but those games are always fun," Stockert said. "The kids are nervous — the ice has been through a third period plus an eight-minute overtime so it's not always the best for stick-handling purposes — but other than that it's just good fun, it really is. Unfortunately, someone has to get one more point than the other one and tonight, that was Dickinson."
Jamestown dropped in a 2-1 shootout against the Midgets Tuesday night at Wilson Arena. With the loss, the Jays stand at 5-5-2 in the West Region standings and 5-6-2 overall. Stockert and his crew are slated to board the bus on Friday for a trip up to Devils Lake's barn then will head back to the Buffalo City to host Williston on Saturday.
The gritty battle between the No. 5 Blue Jays and the seventh-ranked Midgets all started at the 6:24 mark of the opening frame when Dickinson's Kasey Stengel sent one past Blue Jay goalkeeper Carson Dewald to make it 1-0 Midgets.
Dewald is listed as the Jays' second-stringer but with starting goalie Andrew Walz out of playing contention due to illness, Dewald was in a trial by fire type-situation. Dewald faced a total of 32 shots and managed to make 29 total saves. The senior has been on the Jays' roster since last season but had never seen a start until Tuesday.
"We have a rule with our goaltenders," Stockert said. "It's really just three words: stop the puck. We don't care how it gets done.
"(Dewald) did what he needed to do," he said. "He fought a couple of pucks and all that good stuff but hey, for his first varsity nod, he played a pretty good hockey game for us."
While Dewald was getting comfortable in between the pipes, the Blue Jays' offense began buzzing.
Coming out of the first break down 1-0, Max Mehus and Easton Romsdal did what they could to set up Brooks Roaldson. Roaldson made good on the pair of apples and got the Jays' on the board. The goal was Roaldson's eighth of the season to bring his point total to a team-high of 16 points.
A mere 51 seconds after Roaldson had tied the affair, Jarrett Zalumskis fired from the blue line. The biscuit landed squarely behind Dickinson's goalkeeper Bryce Kadrmas to put the Jays up 2-1. The score was Zalumskis' first of his senior season.
Dickinson had no problem catching up.
Kaden Dvorak scooted one past Dewald of assists from Sam Stillings and Ryker Klaman to knot things up at two with about six and a half left to play in the second period.
The pace only intensified as the Jays and Midgets went into the third period.
Jamestown's defense proved effective at keeping Dickinson out of scoring range for the opening seven minutes but a brief letdown due to shuffling and looking for a puck rebound left Kaeden Krieg unguarded. The Dickinson junior flipped one right past the Jays' defense to give his team back the lead.
As time ticked down, signaling about two minutes left to play in regulation, Jamestown's bench began to feel a bit of deja vu.
Two weeks ago, when the Jays were up at Dickinson's barn, Stockert pulled his goalie to play some 6-on-5 hockey. With just seconds left on the clock, Blue Jay senior, Max Mehus scored a game-tying goal that forced overtime.
The exact same thing happened on Tuesday.
The Jays were playing 6-v-5 when Mehus managed to punch one in to tie the game with 26 seconds left on the game clock.
"The kids are starting to figure some stuff out offensively," Stockert said. "The word of the day as far as I'm concerned is, finish. We need to finish better and find twine and I think if we do that, it's not an overtime game, we win it in regulation."
Jamestown kept the pressure on, getting a pair of shots on net in the opening 1:40 of the first overtime frame. Dewald made four saves while Kadrmas made five. The Blue Jays wound up outshooting the Midgets 51-32 but Kadrmas was pretty darn good at racking up those saves — especially when it counted most.
After a scoreless overtime frame, the two teams went to the shootout. Roaldson, Romsdal and Jackson Maddock were selected as the Jays' three shooters.
"You watch kids in practice and do fun things in practice like a showdown drill and you get a taste and a knack for kids who can find the back of the net in that situation," Stockert said. "We thought we did that but unfortunately, only one of them put it in the back of the net."
Roaldson beat Kadrmas' reflexes to the left corner of the goal to give the Jays one but Kadrmas made a stick save on Romsdal's shot while Maddock's shot went wide right.
"It is what it is," Stockert said. "There are way more good things going on on that ice than bad things and as a coach, you have to be happy with that. Hopefully, the kids just keep battling hard and we'll just keep getting better every day. The only thing they haven't figured out is how to put the puck in the back of the net. Once that comes, good things will start to come."
Dickinson 3, Jamestown 3
DHS 1 1 1 (OT) 0 (SO) 2
JHS 0 2 1 (OT) 0 (SO) 1
1. DHS, Kasey Stengel (Levi Jerome, Tanner Roers), 10:36.
2. JHS, Brooks Roaldson (Max Mehus, Easton Romsdal), 2:01; 3. JHS, Jarrett Zalumskis (Reagan Sortland, Romsdal), 2:52; 4. DHS, Kaden Dvorak (Sam Stillings, Ryker Klaman), 10:32.
5. DHS, Kaeden Krieg (Stillings), 7:40; 6. JHS, Mehus (Tyson Jorissen, Nate Walz ), 16:34.
Shootout goal scored by Brooks Roaldson
Shootout goal scored by Dickinson
Shootout attempt failed by Easton Romsdal
Shootout attempt by Dickinson failed
Shootout attempt by Jackson Maddock failed
Shootout goal scored by Dickinson
Goalkeeper saves: Dickinson, Bryce Kadrmas 13-11-18-5—47; Jamestown, Carson Dewald 8-11-6-4—29
Penalties: Dickinson 4 for 8 minutes; Jamestown 2 for 4 minutes.