Powerplay favors Blue Jays in Saturday showdown with Williston
The Jamestown High School hockey team hosted Williston on Jan. 28.
JAMESTOWN — Prior to squaring off against Williston Saturday evening, News Dakota's Mark McKenzie told Jamestown High School head boys hockey coach, Matt Stockert, one thing:
"Get that powerplay ready."
The head coach and his team responded to the seasoned broadcaster's notes accordingly.
"We played pretty good 5-on-4 and 4-on-5," Stockert said. "Hats off to the kids. We've kind of been plugging at that as of late but more importantly, we started to find some twine which is good. We found ways to put the pucks in the net."
The Blue Jays defeated Williston 8-4 Saturday to pick up their eighth win of the year. The Jays are now sitting at 8-6-1 on the year and are tied with Mandan for the No. 4 spot in the West Region. Both the Jays and Braves have 24 points so far this year.
Stockert and the Jays will be at Bismarck Century on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. and then will host the Patriots on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. As of Jan. 28, the Patriots are fighting Bismarck Legacy for the No. 1 spot in the West Region. Overall, Century is 11-5-0. The Patriots earned their eighth-straight win on Saturday, defeating Bottineau/Rugby 4-1.
If the Jays' capitalize on the powerplay as they did against the Coyotes they could be the team that snaps Century's streak.
Within the first 26 seconds of the game, the refs assessed JHS senior Brooks Roaldson a two-minute minor for tripping.
While it was not exactly an ideal start for the Blue Jays, the four guys left on the ice more than made up for it.
Gavin Gerhardt was the first to score, knocking the puck in off an assist from Nate Walz. Just 38 seconds later, with Roaldson still in the box, Max Mehus got control of the biscuit. Mehus dished out a pass to Tyson Jorissen to wound up punching it in to make it 2-0 Blue Jays with just 1:49 off the clock.
The best part?
There were still 15 seconds remaining on the Williston powerplay.
"That was good," Stockert said. "The kids were just pushing pressure on Williston and we took advantage of a couple of situations."
Chase Collings got Williston back in the game with a goal scored at the 11:42 mark but the Coyotes suffered a penalty shortly thereafter which gave Jamestown a 5-on-4 advantage.
Gerhardt capitalized on the powerplay opportunity.
The senior landed one in between the pipes off a pair of assists from Reagan Sortland and Owen Struble to make it 3-1 Blue Jays entering the break.
A 12-minute respite seemed to be just what the Coyotes needed.
Three of Williston's four goals were scored in the second period, two of which came in a matter of 1 minute and 20 seconds.
The score stood at 3-1 when Williston's Haden Bergstrom surprised Blue Jay goalie Andrew Walz with a shot that blew past him to make it 3-2 with about 9:40 remaining in the second period.
That's when the ante got upped and four goals came all within 95 seconds of each other.
Jamestown scored first at 13:30 followed by the Coyotes at 13:45. The Jays struck again to make it 5-3 with about 3:30 left on the clock but 35 seconds later, Williston had managed to cut the lead to one again.
The Jays regrouped and responded accordingly and did not allow another Coyote goal while they themselves scored three more in the final 17 minutes to make the score 8-4.
Seven different guys were responsible for scoring the Jays' eight goals. Jamestown outshot the Coyotes 58-27. Walz was responsible for 23 total saves.
"It's great when you have scoring coming from all different lines," Stockert said. "It makes it pretty pleasing to look at a scoresheet. I am happy about that but hats off to Williston. They crawled back in and kept firing and firing and firing pucks on net."
Stockert said all in all, the only thing he would like to see improvement on is some of the Jays' decision-making and defensive work — both things he is intending to harp on as the West Region Tournament is quickly approaching.
"We'll go back to work Monday and get better Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and get after Century on Thursday and Friday," Stockert said. "The calendar turns to February soon so we've got to be playing some really good hockey here going forward and I think we're starting to do that which is great."
Jamestown 8, Williston 4
WIL 1 3 0 — 4
JHS 3 2 3 — 8
1. JHS, Gavin Gerhardt (Nate Walz), 1:11; 2. JHS, Tyson Jorissen (Max Mehus, Jarrett Zalumskis), 1:49; 3. WIL, Chase Collings (Riley Erickson), 11:42; 4. JHS, Gavin Gerhardt (Reagan Sortland, Owen Struble), 13:19
5. WIL, Haden Bergstrom (Erickson, Collings), 7:12; 6. JHS, Owen Struble (Easton Romsdal, Mehus), 13:30; 7. WIL, Erickson (Matthew Schmit, Spencer Schipferling), 13:45; 8. JHS, Jarrett Zalumskis (Brooks Roaldson, Gerhardt), 14:31; 9. WIL, Matthew Schmit (Collings, Erickson), 15:04
6. JHS, Max Mehus (Roaldson, Romsdal), 3:01; 7. JHS, Brooks Roaldson (unassisted), 8:52; 8. JHS, Ashton Stockert (Zalumskis, Romsdal), 11:42.
Goalie saves: Williston, Bode Ekblad 17-16-17—50; Jamestown, Andrew Walz, 2-7-14—23
Penalties: Williston 6 for12 minutes; Jamestown 6 for 12 minutes.