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Red-Hot Raiders

Jamestown Scores 12 To Breeze Past R-H/B/M

Jamestown’s Ritter Coombs scores on a shot early in the Raiders’ 12-1 win over Royalton-Hartland/Barker/Medina on Friday at Northwest Arena. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

Jamestown Raiders head coach Jim Bergman sees balanced scoring as one of his team’s greatest strengths for the 2021 season, and Friday night’s win confirmed that belief.

Ten different players found the back of the net in a 12-1 rout of Roy-Hart/Barker/Medina at Northwest Arena.

Jamestown improved to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the Western New York High School Club Hockey League White Division.

This year’s Raiders team sees the return of a large group of seniors from last year’s squad, which ended the year with a Mixed Division title via a 3-1 win over RBM.

“We figure if can put for our five goals in a game we should win every game,” Bergman said. “The strength out of this group is they have been together ever since modified, before jayvee. It is a really close-knit group, 11-12 seniors. We don’t really have any all-stars, any Eichels out there, but they play as a team. All four lines, we have a balanced group. Everyone gets along and they believe in each other and they believe in the system too.”

Jamestown’s Ryan Schrecengost carries the puck during the Raiders’ 12-1 victory over Royalton-Hartland/Barker/Medina on Friday at Northwest Arena. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

Like many of their peers in other high school sports, the Raiders waited for weeks to find out if they would even have an opportunity to play this season due to COVID-19.

When the word finally came down, optimism about the year started to pick up.

“We had something to look forward to (when games were scheduled) and then started practicing harder and harder. I think we started a little slow like I said, but I think they are ready now,” Bergman said. “We started practicing when we were allowed, and had no clue when we were going to be able to play a game. We actually started in early September when were allowed to start having clinics and skate.”

Jamestown began the year with a narrow loss to East Aurora/Holland, which it will likely battle for the White Division title this year.

“We started out playing East Aurora which is probably going to be our hardest competition this year,” Bergman said. “We went into the third period with a 4-3 lead and ended up coming out on a loss. It was 12 degrees with a real feel of 1, we were on the outdoor rink — no excuses. We should have come out and played harder in the third.”

The team rebounded with a win over Eden/Lake Shore/Pioneer/Springville, but was still getting its feet together after an odd offseason of waiting for permission to play. Despite that win, the team’s coaching staff was still looking for improvement.

“That was an eye-opener for the boys after two games like that. Coaches weren’t very happy,” Bergman said. “We came back the next night against City Honors and we played probably one of our best games, even compared to last year.”

Friday night’s win confirmed that the Raiders can find goals from across their roster, as Evan Bishop notched the opening goal two minutes into the night, sending home a point shot from a pass by Declan Brown.

That lead doubled four minutes later when Brown curled at his own hashmark and took off on a 180-foot solo rush that was finished off with a toe drag and a high finish.

The Raiders would give up a goal with 9:30 remaining in the opener as Joel Harris converted on a one-timer during a 5-on-3, but the rest of the evening belonged to the Jamestown offense.

Jed Hirliman and Cooper Bergman would each grab a pair of goals, with tallies also coming from Michael Gerace, Tristan Spillane, Alex MacCallum, Ryan Mead, Devin Wolfe and Ritter Coombs.

Brendan Hirliman would grab two assists, Spillane two assists and Jackob Guimond two assists in the win as well.

Bolstering the balanced offense this season will be the play of Eddie Yost and Jackson Roth in net.

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