Congdon provides game-winning goal for Americans in overtime
By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., November 4, 2016 — The Great Falls Americans (9-3-1-1) and the Gillette Wild (8-2-1-0) have already met twice earlier this season in Wyoming.
These two NA3HL squad split their first two-game series two weeks ago at the Spirit Hall Ice Arena. In their first meeting on October 21st, Gillette tasted victory (4-3) and then the following night (October 22nd), Great Falls edged out a 3-2 win to even the series.
During last weekend’s games (October 28-29), the Gillette Wild took down the Billings Bulls by scoring eight goals in each of their two matchups. The Wild club won easily 8-1 on Friday night in Gillette and then held on for an 8-4 win in Billings on Saturday evening.
The Americans won their lone game of the week at home against the Helena Bighorns. In the 5-0 shutout, Brendan Jester racked up a hat trick in the first period and teammate Tegan Harrington registered two more goals.
Forward Tanner Congdon provided the game-winning goal and goaltender Nick Nast recorded 43 saves to help the Great Falls Americans defeat the Gillette Wild 2-1 in overtime on Friday night in Great Falls. The Pep Band from C.M. Russell High School entertained the 622 fans in attendance at the Ice Plex.
Brooks Mitzel of Gillette led the offensive attack for the Wild during first period action. Mitzel, a Rapid City, South Dakota native, scored the lone goal for either team with 2:28 remaining in the stanza. Nick Stockert and Riley Holwegner each picked up one assist on the scoring drive. The Americans took nine shots-on-goal while the Wild added 12.
The Great Falls Americans wasted no time getting on the scoreboard during the second period. Danny O’Donnell and Jesse Johnson found an open Tegan Harrington for the score during the first 20 seconds. Harrington scored his seventh goal while O’Donnell chipped in his eleventh assist and Jesse Johnson accumulated his sixth. The contest would remain tied at 1-1 going into the third period as neither goaltender allowed any pucks to get into the net. Gillette out-shot the Americans 21-6 in the period and after the first forty minutes held a 33-15 advantage.
After a scoreless third period, the game went into a five-minute overtime.
Tanner Congdon found the back of the net for the game-winning goal 1:49 into the overtime. Forward Tegan Harrington and goaltender Nick Nast gathered the assists on the final scoring drive for the Americans.
The game between these two NA3HL teams featured eight power play opportunities but none found the back of the net. The home team committed eight of the nine total penalties resulting in 16 minutes in the penalty box.
The visiting team from Wyoming took ten more total shots (44-34) than the host team including 21 in the second stanza.
Goaltenders Nick Nast (Great Falls) and Robbie Brennan of Gillette played 63 minutes in the net. Nast, a first-goalie for the Americans, added 43 saves to his season total of 226 in his fourth win of the year. Brennan played well throughout the game but gave up a goal in the middle and overtime periods. He finished with 32 saves.
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans and the Wild will tangle on the ice again on Saturday, November 5th in Great Falls for their fourth meeting of the season. The game begins at 7:30PM from the Great Falls Ice Plex.