FRISCO, Texas - The Jamestown Ironmen's hopes for a Robertson Cup title game appearance took another hit on Saturday afternoon as the squad from Western New York suffered a 5-2 setback to the Wenatachee Wild.
The loss, the Ironmen's second in as many days at the North American Hockey League's national tournament, drops Jamestown to 0-2 and puts them in sole possession of last place in the four-team round robin.
Jamestown must now defeat the third-place Bismarck Bobcats (1-2) when the pair square off at 7:30 tonight; they'll also need unbeaten Amarillo, the defending Robertson Cup champions, to topple Wenatachee beforehand - that game is slated for 4:30 p.m. - to have any shot of reaching the championship game.
On Saturday, the Wild struck early, taking a two-goal lead by the first intermission.
Chris Kerr, who would score twice by game's end, beat Jamestown netminder Joe Ballmer at the 12-minute mark of the opening period when he buried a rebound following an errant shot from the point by teammate Max McHugh.
Just two minutes later, the Wild tallied once again, this time on the power play, as McHugh collected his second assist of the night when he dished to teammate Joe Sullivan on the right wing. Sullivan did the rest, lacing a wrister top shelf over the outstretched glove of Ballmer.
Things wouldn't get any better for the Ironmen after intermission.
Just over a minute into play Wenatachee's Jacob Barber stretched the twine off of another rebound, making the score 3-0. Seven minutes after that the Wild netted their second power-play goal of the evening when Barber found Kerr.
Wenatachee would score once more in the third on an empty-netter to reach the winning margin.
Ballmer finished the night with 27 saves on 32 shots. His counterpart, Robert Nichols, meanwhile, stopped 14 shots on only 16 Ironmen attempts.
Jamestown avoided the shutout late in the second period, cutting the deficit to 4-1, as Daniel Cesarz made the most of his 1-on-1 breakaway opportunity midway through the period.
Victor Johansson scored unassisted at the midway mark of the final period to account for Jamestown's final goal.