Not their night: Jays lose to Minot in WDA tournament semis
The Jamestown High School boys hockey team faced off against Minot in the WDA Tournament Semifinals on Feb. 17.
MINOT — Following the Jamestown High School boys hockey team's win over Mandan in the WDA tournament quarterfinals, head coach Matt Stockert said that his team had to stay out of the box on Friday.
"We didn't do that tonight," Stockert said. "(Minot) sure took advantage of their opportunities on the powerplay and along with that we didn't play very well in the first period at all. I thought we got better as the game went on but unfortunately better meant us being in the penalty box, them being on the powerplay and them scoring some goals."
Minot defeated the Blue Jays 5-1 in the WDA Tournament semifinals to clinch a 2023 state tournament berth and advance to the 2023 WDA Tournament title game.
Minot has been a frequent flyer in the WDA championship game, with its last appearance coming in 2020-21 season but the Magicians' have not won a WDA Tournament final game since 2006. The Magicians will face Bismarck Legacy in the tourney championship while the Blue Jays are slated to go head-to-head with Dickinson in an 11 a.m. state qualifier.
While Jamestown wound up in the box for 19 minutes, it wasn't just the Blue Jays who spent some time behind the plexiglass.
With just over three minutes gone in the first period, Minot's Brock Mattson was called for interference. Mattson's minor was followed by a too-many-players call on Jamestown make it a 4-on-4 hockey game.
Minot's Jaxon Bradley took advantage and scored his sixth goal of the season to put the Magi up 1-0.
"Kids are kids and it's a different environment out here," Stockert said. "There were a lot of people here and a lot of hootin' and hollerin' and nerves probably played into it too.
The penalty bug continued to bite the Jays as the squad picked up back-to-back minors to go 3-on-5 with the game leaders early in the second but the Blue Jays killed off the penalty before any more offensive damage was done.
Minot outshot the Jays 32-14 in the first two periods. Blue Jay goaltender, Andrew Walz, made 31 saves through the first 34 minutes of gameplay. In total, the senior made 40 saves.
"He played great," Stockert said of Walz. "You ask your goalie to play big in a big game and he certainly came up big. Unfortunately, the goals that went by him were on the powerplay.
"Because Minot did a great job executing on the powerplay it doesn't really show how great Andrew did play — he played great," he said. "We want our goalies to play great at this point in the year and he's been doing that the last month. Hopefully, he has another good one tomorrow."
Minot might have had 12 quality scoring chances while Jamestown only had three but it wasn't the team in maroon and gold who found twine midway through the second.
Easton Romsdal scored what was certainly the biggest goal of his season — and maybe of his career — with 8:42 remaining in the middle frame. Romsdal, a senior, punched the biscuit through Minot traffic to knot things up at one.
It was a great way to start the final period for the Jays but just a couple of minutes in, Owen Struble was sent to the box for a five-minute major and the Jays just didn't have any answers for four straight goals scored by Minot.
"I am just proud of them for gutting it out," Stockert said. "Adversity is adversity. I think the group in the room is pretty determined and if that is the case tomorrow you are going to see a Blue Jay win and some happy faces coming off that ice tomorrow.
"I just think that collectively we need to forget about it, watch the sun come up tomorrow and get after Dickinson at 11 o'clock."
Minot 5, Jamestown 1
JHS 0 1 0 — 1
MIN 1 0 4 — 5
1. MIN, Jaxon Bradley (Brock Jones, Mackley Morelli), 6:07.
2. JHS, Easton Romsdal (Max Mehus, Brooks Roaldson), 8:42.
3. MIN, Easton Panasuk (Jaxson Radke, Aidan Diehl), 2:49; 4. MIN, Brock Jones (Ben Svangstu, Caelton Eslinger), 8:23; 5. MIN, Teegan Strand (Jaxson Radke, Easton Panasuk), 10:17; 6. MIN, Mackley Morelli (unassisted) 14:45.
Goalie saves: Jamestown, Andrew Walz 15-16-9—40; Minot, Blays Ostrom, 5-8-5—18.
Penalties: Jamestown 8 for 19 minutes; Minot 5 for 10 minutes.