Ironmen Win Division Finals Opening Game
SAULT STE MARIE, Mich. – The Jamestown Ironmen stunned a lot of people, including their own fans, with a 6-3 game one victory in the North American Hockey League’s North Division Finals on Friday night.
On the road, the Ironmen faced a Soo Eagles team that had won six out of eight head-to-head meetings during the NAHL regular season.
Before the game started, all indications pointed toward a battle of goaltenders as two of the league’s best would be between the pipes- Tyler Marble of the Eagles and Joey Ballmer for Jamestown.
Despite the speculation, there were plenty of goals scored in a roller-coaster ride of a game.
The top-seeded Eagles got off to a good start, taking a 1-0 lead 4:32 into the game. But the home team’s edge didn’t last for long. At the 11:38 mark of the first period, the Ironmen went wild, piling up four goals in less than four minutes to give themselves a 4-1 lead.
Nico Sierra started off the scoring binge with a power-play goal off of a Huba Sekesi assist.
It was a busy four minutes for the statistician as Luc Gerdes supplied a goal and an assist, Evan Ritt and Daniel Cesarz scored goals, Ryan Doucet dished out a pair of assists, Tyler Dunagan added another and Sierra chipped in with one of his own.
All that action sent the game into its first intermission with the Ironmen leading 4-1.
The Soo stormed out of the gates in the second period scoring a pair of goals less than 10 seconds apart in the first minute. That cut Jamestown’s lead down to one goal moving the score to 4-3, but would be the last time the Eagles would score.
Almost 18 minutes after the Eagles’ scoring surge, Ritt delivered his second goal of the contest on a power play with an assist from Dylan Zink and Jamestown headed into the second intermission with a 5-3 lead.
Ryan Urso put the finishing touches on the game-one victory, scoring a third-period goal with assists from Sierra and Dunagan.
Ballmer and the Ironmen defense also excelled down the stretch, tightening up and refusing to allow any scoring for the final 39:21 of the game.
Ballmer finished the night with his fourth playoff victory and 30 saves on 33 shots from the Eagles.
Jamestown tallied up 38 shots, went 2-for-2 on the power play, was 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and with the win is a perfect 4-0 thus far in the playoffs.
The puck drops for game two at 7:30 tonight.
The game will be broadcast live in Sully’s Irish Pub inside the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.