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GF Tribune: Americans take opener; can win title Friday at home

GF Tribune: Americans to face Yellowstone in Frontier finals

By Tribune Staff

March 23, 2017

Americans come home with 1-0 advantage

CODY, Wyo. – Brendan Jester tallied the winning goal in the second period and Nick Nast stopped 37 shots on goal Thursday night as the Great Falls Americans downed regular season champion Yellowstone 2-1 in the opening game of the NA3HL Frontier Division finals at the Riley Arena.

Jester’s goal, coming at 7:57 of the second stanza, broke a 1-1 tie. Sandis Mazharaups and Ricards Bernhards each earned an assists.

Payton McSharry got the Americans the early lead with he scored his third goal of the playoffs with 2:22 gone in the first, with Jester and Dustin Truex assisting. Pablo Pantoja would tie the game just three minutes into the second, setting the stage for the game-winning goal by Jester.

Pantoja’s goal would be the only blemish on Nast’s sheet as he recorded his third win of the playoffs.

The Americans will host the Quake Friday night at 7:30 at the Great Falls Ice Plex. A Great Falls win either Friday night or in the “if necessary” game Saturday at Cody would send the Americans to the NA3HL Silver Cup Playoffs in Romeoville, Ill.

Great Falls 1 1 0 – 2

Yellowstone 0 1 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Great Falls, McSharry 3 (Truex, Jester), 2:22.

2nd Period-2, Yellowstone, Pantoja 4 (Stewart, Meyer), 3:05. 3, Great Falls, Jester 1 (Mezharaups, Bernhards), 7:57.

3rd Period- No Scoring.

Shots on Goal-Great Falls 14-6-6—26. Yellowstone 9-18-11—38.

Power Play Opportunities-Great Falls 0-2; Yellowstone 0-1.

Goalies-Great Falls, Nast 3-0-0-0 (38 shots-37 saves). Yellowstone, Ottenbacher 2-1-0-0 (26 shots-24 saves).

A-400

Story Courtesy of the Great Falls Tribune