Jays start fast, crush DickinsonJAMESTOWN — Wilson Arena hasn’t exactly been kind to the Jamestown boys hockey team this season.
By: Michael Savaloja, Forum News Service
JAMESTOWN — Wilson Arena hasn’t exactly been kind to the Jamestown boys hockey team this season.
But with three big West Region points up for grabs on Tuesday night against visiting Dickinson High, the confines this time were friendlier.
Jamestown senior goalie Ben Walz kept the Midgets off the scoreboard en route to their first home win since Dec. 8 in a 6-0 shutout.
“We’ve got a grinder coming up here, kind of starting today … and most of those are home games,” Jamestown head coach Matt Stockert said. “So I was going to ask (Jamestown athletic director Jim Roaldson) if we could change them to road games.
“We’ve been playing pretty well on the road, but it’s good to get one here against Dickinson.”
Coming into the game, the Blue Jays were just 1-4 their on home ice. They’ve now won three straight and improved to 6-4 in the West Region.
It was the second time in just over a week the Blue Jays and the Midgets met each other. Jamestown won 4-1 on Jan. 5 in Dickinson.
“It feels really nice,” Jamestown senior defenseman Matt Grounds said. “We played good together, went out there and hit people, played the best we could and came out on top.”
The Midgets opted to place junior goalie Brett Schweitzer in net for Tuesday’s contest, in lieu of senior Jamison Gray, who allowed three first-period goals to the Blue Jays in their first meeting.
Jamestown, however, again found ways to reach the back of the net early Tuesday.
The state’s leading goal scorer, Jamestown senior Jake Stilwell, got things rolling for the Blue Jays with a power-play goal coming with just under 8 minutes left in the first period for his 18th goal of the season. Stilwell picked up a pass from Jamestown’s Brandon Stahlhut near center ice, where he then weaved by a Dickinson defender past the blue line and beat Schweitzer glove-side with a wrist shot.
Stilwell later picked up his 31st point of the season, as he found Jamestown’s Dakotah Spitzer standing all alone to the right of Schweitzer. Spitzer also fired far side and high with exactly 2 minutes left in the opening period.
“I thought we came out in the first period and kind of took it to them,” Stockert said. “The start of the second period was kind of the same way. I thought the kids played pretty good to keep them at zero on the board.”
Jamestown wasted little time extending its lead, scoring just 46 seconds after the opening faceoff of the second period. Jamestown’s Jakobi Lux notched his sixth goal of the season. Nearly 2 minutes later, Jamestown went ahead 4-0 on Alex Williams’ sixth goal of the year.
That was the end of the night for Schweitzer. He was pulled for Gray with 14 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the second.
Williams later added his second goal on power play with less than 4 minutes left in the period to put the Jays up 5-0 going into the third.
“It’s been tough at home,” said Williams, who finished with two goals and two assists. “We’ve been winning more on the road but it’s nice to win a home game finally, in front of the home crowd.”
Stilwell scored the final goal of the game in the third, as he finished with two goals and three assists to push his season point total to 34.
Walz notched 18 saves.
Dickinson now sets its sights on hosting Bottineau-Rugby at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Dickinson Recreation Center.
“We are just going to have to come to the rink tomorrow and get back to work,” Dickinson head coach Tom Folske said. “We need to focus on the things to be a better hockey team.”
DHS 0 0 0 – 0
JHS 2 3 1 – 6
FIRST PERIOD: 1, J, Jake Stilwell (Brandon Stahlhut), 9:19 PP. 2, J, Dakotah Spitzer (Stilwell), 15:00.
SECOND PERIOD: 3, J, Jakobi Lux (Alex Williams, Matt Grounds), :46; 4, J, Williams (Stilwell, Grounds), 2:23; 5, J, Williams (Lux, Stilwell), 13:23 PP.
THIRD PERIOD: 6, J, Stilwell (Williams, Lux), 3:40.
SAVES: D, Brett Schweitzer 10-8-x–18; Jamison Gray x-6-7–13. J, Ben Walz 4-8-6–18.