Firebirds improve to 9-1-0 with 4-3 road win over Blue Jays

Ray Maloney, Sports

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Keaton Thompson’s goal with just 16.4 seconds remaining in overtime lifted Devils Lake to a 4-3 victory over Jamestown on Tuesday at Wilson Arena.

The game was originally scheduled for Dec. 23 but had been postponed due to last week’s winter storm that hit the state.

“Our mental focus wasn’t there,” said Devils Lake coach David Zimmerman, whose team improved to 9-1-0 on the season with the non-conference victory over the Blue Jays. “Our forechecking was a little slow and we didn’t react quick enough at times. We left some good rebounds in front of the net and didn’t have anyone finish them off.

“(Jamestown) made us work for it,” Zimmerman added. “I was glad that we got out of there with a win.”

The Blue Jays had taken a 3-2 advantage that was wiped out when Tanner Hoffmeyer capitalized on a two-man advantage by the Firebirds with 1:16 remaining in regulation by pushing the puck into the net after Jamestown had pulled its goaltender.

Kyle Kuntz scored the first goal of the game for the Firebirds in the first period and Jamestown tied it with a goal by Brady Anderson.

Anderson broke the tie with his second goal of the game early in the second period and added to that lead with his third goal to increase Jamestown’s lead to 3-1.

Kuntz added his second tally of the night to pull Devils Lake to within 3-2 near the end of the period.

Sawyer Diseth collected 19 saves, including three in the overtime period, for the Firebirds. Ben Walz had 44 saves for the Blue Jays, who were outshot in the game 48-22.

Devils Lake returns to action on Thursday when the Firebirds travel to Grafton-Park River in a key Eastern Dakota Conference tilt.

The Firebirds upended the Spoilers last month in Devils Lake for their first regular season win over Grafton-Park River in more than 10 years.