Andrew Tangen learning varsity hockey, Jays sixth entering WDA tourney

Feb. 14—JAMESTOWN — Earlier this year Andrew Tangen's number got called.

The senior proceeded to do what the Blue Jay athletes do — he stepped up.

Tangen a senior skater for the Jamestown High School boys hockey team has been consistently working to compete for varsity playing time and improve as a varsity-level athlete.

Midway through the season, Tangen took Bennet Goenher's spot in the varsity lineup. Goenher sustained a finger injury from a skate blade. Due to the injury to Goenher, Tangen has become one of the Jays' starting centers.

Tangen has been playing hockey since he was six years old.

"My dad and grandpa got me into the sport," Tangen said. "I've stuck with playing hockey because it brings me joy competing. For the hour to an hour and a half, I'm on the ice it just takes my mind off everything else and focuses just on hockey."

Tangen is one of many Blue Jays who have had to step up for the JHS varsity squad this season. As a team, the Jays only brought back a handful of kids who saw varsity time the last few years. In 2023, the Jays graduated a class of 10 seniors — many of whom had seen time since they were sophomores.

Tangen confirmed that going from the junior varsity to the varsity is a big jump in skill level and the game's pace.

"In JV you have more ice and time to make plays, in varsity, you have to make way faster decisions because the other team is on you right away trying to take time and space away," Tangen said.

The young Blue Jay squad has tallied nine regular-season and 10 overall wins. The Jays have been on the losing end of the scoreboard 11 total times. Jamestown won by shootout once this season — topping Mandan 2-1 on Feb. 6.

Tangen's training involves stick-handling techniques on and off the ice and working on explosive movements during his gym workouts.

"I get in the gym every day and work on mobility and getting stronger. On a normal day I usually spend an hour and a half practicing," Tangen said. "I try to get better every time I'm on the ice."

One of Tangen's personal goals is to get 10 points in the season. The senior also wants to get skillfully better and learn more about the game of hockey.

Tangen is sitting at four points having scored one goal and tallied three assists. Junior Nate Walz is currently leading the Blue Jays in total scoring. Walz has scored 12 goals and tallied 14 assists for a total of 26 points.

"I'm my biggest critic so I just wanna keep going and improving my game," Tangen said.

Tangen and the rest of the Blue Jay squad have locked up the No. 6 seed entering the WDA Tournament this week. The Jays are set to face off against third-seeded Minot in the quarterfinals on Feb. 15 at 7:15 p.m.