University of Jamestown all set to host Hockey Day North Dakota again
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Hockey Day North Dakota's one-of-a-kind outdoor surroundings won't be lost on Tyson Brouwer.
University of Jamestown's standout goalie plans on returning to the Jimmies next season as a fifth-year senior, but Hockey Day North Dakota might be moving on from UJ's Allen Field. Organizers of the second annual event would like to see it travel to other cities in the future, similar to the well-established annual Hockey Day Minnesota east of the Red River.
The Jimmies (18-6-0-0 overall), ranked No. 14 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association's Division I, will battle No. 3 Minot State University (20-2-2-0) under the lights Friday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. The Minot State Beavers are the defending ACHA national champions.
"I'll definitely be taking it in a little more," said Brouwer, whose Jimmies fell 3-1 to the University of Mary last January in the inaugural Hockey Day North Dakota. "Not a lot of guys get to play outdoors, especially a competitive game. It's a cool experience."
Cool being the operative word.
Last year's air temperature for the opening faceoff between the Jimmies and Marauders was 5 degrees. Friday's high could soar close to 30, but snow is in the forecast.
Minot State is 22-6-2 against the Jimmies all-time, but the two teams have split four games against each other this season with UJ head coach Dean Stork back behind the boards. Minot snapped UJ's impressive 13-game winning streak in 4-1 fashion on Dec. 13, possibly adding fuel to the already intense in-state rivalry.
"You can't really let it affect you too much," Brouwer said of the elements. "At the end of the day, it's still a hockey game. Just control what you can control early, which is how you play.
"Minot is always a tough team to play against, but we're really excited for the challenge and just really excited to get things rolling."
Jamestown is coming off a successful 3-1 road trip, with Brouwer and the Jimmie defense finishing with back-to-back shutouts over the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Brouwer is already enjoying a successful season. At 14-6 between the pipes, his 1.99 goals against average is ranked eighth in the nation.
Brouwer, from Lethbridge, Alberta, has posted 62 wins and nine shutouts in his UJ career. He's tallied a season save percentage of .925 entering Friday.
"Guys are definitely making my job easy," Brouwer said. "Defensively, I think we've probably been the best we've been in the program's history, so my goals against is a testament to them, really. Personal stats are nice, but at the end of the day the only thing I care about is wins and a national championship."
Minot State has scored 120 goals in 24 games, led by Adam Wowryk (22), Johl Swedlo (16) and Davis Sheldon (15). UJ freshman Aidan Potas has tallied a team-leading 16 goals, followed by senior Michael Pruss (13). Pruss' twin brother, Alan Pruss, has recorded a team-leading 23 assists.
"They've got one really good line but they've got depth all the way through," Brouwer said of Minot. "They're fast, play hard and they hit, very similar to how we like to play."
UJ has 13 games remaining to the regular season. The Jimmies were one-and-done in last year's ACHA national tournament in Frisco, Texas.
"Everyone's just really contributing," Brouwer said. "I think the second half here, we're going to need a big half from everyone."
Indoor Schedule (Wilson Arena)
Saturday, Jan. 18
Jamestown JV boys vs. Fargo Sheyenne, 10:45 a.m.
Fargo Angels White vs. Dickinson Orange, 1:15 p.m.
Fargo Angels Bantam B vs. Rugby Bantam, 3:30 p.m.
Fargo Angels Bantam A vs. Dickinson Bantam, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 19
Jamestown Squirt B vs. Bismarck Squirt Blue, 11 a.m.
Jamestown Squirt B vs. Bismarck Squirt Gray, 2 p.m.