Anyone in attendance at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Saturday night could easily sense the bad blood between the Jamestown Ironmen and the Soo Eagles as the division rivals battled in North American Hockey League action.
After falling to the Eagles the night before, the Ironmen bounced back with an impressive 3-2 win on Saturday night. The JSBA crowd witnessed a very physical game that saw some big hits and multiple scuffles between the top two teams in the NAHL North Division.
The Ironmen were led by their top scorer, forward Luc Gerdes, who had a hand in all of Jamestown's scoring. Gerdes supplied a pair of goals, his 18th and 19th on the season, along with an assist.
Ironmen goalie Tim Shaughnessy kicks a shot away during Saturday’s North American Hockey League game at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. At left is Jared VanWormer of the Soo Eagles. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J?photo by Scott Reagle
Jamestown jumped out to an early lead with a goal from defenseman Tyler Minx only 31 seconds into the game. Assists came from Gerdes and Ryan Doucet. The Ironmen built upon the lead when Gerdes scored a power-play goal with an assist from Evan Ritt, and Jamestown headed into the first intermission with a 2-0 edge.
The Eagles answered back with a goal in the second period to pull to within one. In the third period, Gerdes took another pass from Ritt and netted his second goal to push the margin back to two scores.
Soo added another score with less than five minutes remaining in the third to get back to within one goal. The Eagles pulled their goaltender and added an extra attacker in a last-ditch effort to tie the contest, but it wasn't enough as the Ironmen moved on to capture the victory.
Tim Shaughnessy earned the win in goal for the Ironmen, making 31 saves. Ironically, Jamestown was outshot, 33-19, but went 1-for-3 on the power play while Soo failed to convert on a pair of strong-handed opportunities.
"It was a great battle between two good teams," said Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa. "You want to win them all, but when you can split with a good team like the Eagles, you have to be satisfied. We are very pleased with the way we bounced back from Friday's loss, and Shaughnessy really stepped up in goal to give us a chance to win."
Jamestown earned two points with the win and cut the Eagles' lead in the North to four points while having a pair of games in hand on the division leaders. The Ironmen will have an opportunity to shrink the margin in the standings even further today as they take on the Port Huron Fighting Falcons at the JSBA. Puck drops at 5 p.m.