Ironmen Refocus To Knock Off Wild

The Jamestown Ironmen (31-14-4) skated their way to an impressive 3-1 victory over the Wenatchee Wild (35-8-4) on Friday night during North American Hockey League play at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.

After a scoreless first period, Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa had a conversation with his team in the locker room.

“We talked about refocusing,” said Daikawa. “We wanted to come out the rest of the game and show that we are a team that can compete.”

And refocus the Ironmen did.

After being deadlocked for most of the second period, Huba Sekesi beat the Wild goaltender off of a couple of sweet assists from Ross Pavek and Victor Johansson with 2:27 left in the period. Ryan Doucet then added to the Ironmen scoring at the 44-second mark with an assist from Luc Gerdes and Jamestown headed into the locker room with a 2-0 lead over Wenatchee.

“We drew up a couple simple plays that turned into goals for us,” said Daikawa when asked what got his team going in the second period.

The Wild struck 7:15 into the third with a powerplay goal to cut the Ironmen lead to one.

It didn’t take long for the hometown team to answer back as Evan Ritt netted an outstanding, diving goal as he weaved between Wild defenders less than two minutes later.

Ritt’s goal would conclude the scoring on the night, but the action was far from over, especially in the Ironmen goal where Joey Ballmer was more than impressive. Ballmer made 19 saves while facing 20 shots on the night and stifled a handful of great opportunities for the Wild.

“A lot of people say Wenatchee is one of the top teams in the league, and we showed tonight that we aren’t far off from that; we just need to stay consistent.”

The Ironmen play the Wild again today at 5 p.m. at the JSBA.