The Jamestown Ironmen returned from a midseason break this past weekend with a pair of road victories over the Janesville Jets in North American Hockey League action.
The Ironmen spent the holidays back home and hadn't played a game since December 22. After a week of preparation at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, the hometown team returned to action Friday in Janesville, where it managed a 4-3 comeback victory over the Jets (15-16-6).
The Ironmen jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Tyler Dunagan scored just 36 seconds into the contest with assists from Aaron Scheppelman and Nico Sierra. Ryan Doucet, recently acquired through a trade and starting in his first game with the Ironmen, added another first period goal to give Jamestown a 2-0 lead. Assists came from Evan Ritt and Nathan Ropelewski.
Despite the quick start by the Ironmen, Janesville owned the second period, piling in three goals and giving itself a 3-2 edge heading into the third.
Jamestown took back the momentum in the third period when Doucet took a Scheppelman assist and netted his second goal of the game at the midway mark of the third. With the contest tied at 3-3, Ryan Urso snuck the game winner past the Janesville goaltender with 5:18 left in the contest to lift the Ironmen to victory. The assist came from Brett Szajner and the goal was Urso's seventh of the season and second gamewinner.
Newly acquired goaltender, Blake Wojtala got the nod from Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa on Saturday night, and he delivered. Wojtala started his first game between the pipes for Jamestown, making 21 saves and earning the shutout victory as the Ironmen completed the weekend sweep with a dominating 2-0 win over Janesville.
The Ironmen turn to the combination of Shuaghnessy and Wojtala to fill the void left by stalwart goaltender, Reid Mimmack who left to play college hockey at Division 1 Bemidji State University at the end of December. Shaughnessy has been on the roster all season and has a 6-3-2 record including one shutout victory. Wojtala posted a mere 3-7-1 record so far this season with his former team, the Odessa Jackalopes, but certainly looked impressive in his Ironmen debut.
Victor Johansson and Nico Sierra supplied the scoring on Saturday night with one goal apiece while Doucet, Szajner and Joe Mottiqua each chipped in with assists.
Jamestown (23-8-3) currently sits four points back in the NAHL North.
Division with two games in hand on the division leading Soo Eagles. This upcoming weekend will prove pivotal for the Ironmen as they are set to host the Eagles at 7 p.m. and at 5 p.m. Saturday. Jamestown will also play host to another division foe, the Port Huron Fighting Falcons, at 5 p.m. Sunday.