The Jamestown Ironmen took a 2-0 series lead over the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings with a 3-1 win on Saturday in the divisional semifinal round of the North American Hockey League playoffs.
Kalamazoo struck first with a goal 7:54 into the first period and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Jamestown kept its composure and got on the scoreboard when Victor Johansson tied the game up, scoring a goal with less than five minutes remaining in the second period. Elliot Tisdale and Dylan Zink were in on the assists.
Jamestown’s Huba Sekesi, left, checks Kalamazoo’s Sam Johnson in front of the net during Saturday’s North American Hockey League playoff game at Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J?photo by Scott Reagle
The teams entered the final period of regulation all knotted up, 1-1. Ryan Doucet of the Ironmen quickly changed that as he added a power-play goal just over five minutes into the third with an assist from Nico Sierra.
Later on in the third, Sierra put the game out of reach with a breakaway goal to push Jamestown's lead to 3-1. Assists came from Daniel Cesarz and Tyler Dunagan.
When asked what gave his team the edge last night, Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa supplied a simple answer: goalie Joe Ballmer.
"Ballmer was the difference," said Daikawa without hesitation of his 6-foot-3, 210-pound goaltender. Despite being outshot, 30-29, Ballmer made 29 saves, adding to his Game 1 performance of 33 saves on 34 shots.
"It wasn't our best performance, but in the end we did what we had to in order to win," said Daikawa. "I'm excited because we have given ourselves an opportunity to win one in Kalamazoo and finish them off."
Jamestown will head out to Kalamazoo for Game 3 at 7 p.m., Wednesday with a chance to end the series with a victory. If necessary, Game 4 will be at 7 p.m., Thursday night in Kalamazoo. Game 5 would be back in Jamestown at 5 p.m., next Sunday.