Americans remain perfect on the road with a 7-2 win over Billings
By Kevin Scott
BILLINGS, Mont., October 16, 2015 — The Great Falls Americans (6-2) and the Billings Bulls (1-5) have already met once this season back on October 3rd in Great Falls. Great Falls bested the Bulls 4-1 on that night.
At that time, the Americans won their fifth straight game but have since lost twice to the Yellowstone Quake. Billings played the Glacier Nationals twice last week winning once 7-4 for their first win before falling to them the second night 5-2.
The Great Falls Americans snapped a two game losing streak and won their sixth game in eight tries by posting a 7-2 victory over the Billings Bulls on Friday night at Centennial Ice Arena in Billings before an announced crowd of 210 who witnessed the Americans dominating performance.
Great Falls opened up the scoring during the first seven minutes of the opening period. Arseny Ivanov, the native of Moscow, Russia, scored his second goal of the season. Mitchell Ramstad and Malachi Bushey provided the assists. The Americans took 10 shots against Billings goaltender Brandon Brown.
The Americans added two goals during the first 80 seconds of the second period to increase their lead 3-0. Ricards Bernhards, the team leader in goals scored, put in the first power play score of the contest set up by Miles Giorgione and Adam Apangalook. After assisting on the Americans opening score during the first period, Mitchell Ramstad got the puck by the Bulls goalie 16 seconds later thanks to Arseny Ivanov and Jacob Draves. Great Falls would score again before the second intermission as Miles Giorgione found the back of the net for his first goal of the 2015-16 season. Arseny Ivanov picked up his second assist of the evening.
Connor Melton ended the scoring drought for the host team on a successful power play opportunity against Americans net minder Jake Stephan. Luke Erickson and Tristan Henrichs chipped in the assists with 2:07 on the clock. Blake Miller netted the Americans fifth goal as time expired in the middle period. Ricards Bernhards and Adam Apangalook were each credited with one assist apiece. Great Falls offense racked up 26 shots against the Bulls while limiting the home team to seven during the second stanza.
The visitors from Great Falls continued to light up the scoreboard during the final period of regulation. Brendan Jester and Adam Apangalook each scored during the first 55 seconds. Bernhards accumulated his second assist of the game while Blake Miller earned his first. The Bulls tallied their only goal of the period as Nicholas Stellmack scored with nine seconds remaining off the stick of Keith Gustin. Jacob Yoho also registered an assist on the Billings power play score.
Apangalook, Ivanov and Bernhards led the way for the Great Falls NA3HL franchise by producing one goal and two assists apiece.
Great Falls doubled up Billings (56-28) in the shots-on-goal category after 60 minutes of action.
Both of the Bulls goals came off power play chances (2-4) while the American went 1-for-3.
Both teams combined for seven minor penalties for 14 minutes during their second meeting of the season.
Wisconsin native Jake Stephan recorded 26 saves and improved to 2-1 on the season for Great Falls. Brandon Brown of Billings finished with 49 saves but allowed seven goals including four in the middle period in the loss.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls will play three games next week. On Thursday and Friday, they will be in Gillette, Wyoming taking on the Gillette Wild with game time set for 7:00PM each night. On Saturday, the Americans will host the Bozeman Ice Dogs for the first time this season with the matchup set to begin at 7:30PM from the Great Falls Ice Plex.