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GF Tribune: Junior A Hockey: Great Falls Americans still unbeaten

Junior A Hockey: Great Falls Americans still unbeaten (GF Tribune)

 

By Steve Schreck, sschreck@greatfallstribune.com (Sports Writer)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A night after beating the Yellowstone Quake 12-1, Americans’ head coach Jeff Heimel said his team was a little bit complacent.

He said his team thought that maybe the Quake were just going to give the game to them.

But the Americans, who outshot the Quake 46-13 in the final two periods Saturday night in front of 624 fans at the IcePlex, showed considerably more jump in the second and third periods and moved to 7-0 on the season with a 4-2 victory.

“We had a talk (during the first intermission),” Heimel said. “And we told them to act otherwise in a nice way, I suppose, and it got noticeably better each period. Happy for that, obviously, but I think we can play a better hockey game. I know we can play a better hockey game.”

The Americans got on the board first with a power-play tally. A little more than six minutes in, Robert Kalata scored his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Austin Krantz and Wade Wylie, on a shot right in front of the net.

The Quake evened the game with 7:49 left. Defenseman Arseny Ivanov turned the puck over near goaltender Lauren Massie, and after an initial save, Will Landsverk scored on the rebound. Yellowstone outshot Great Falls 13-10 during the first period.

“Credit to Yellowstone,” Heimel said. “They came out and played a much harder game than they did (Friday). And I expected them to do that.”

The Americans showed more jump in the second period, where they had a boatload of chances, including two shots that rang off the post. Great Falls peppered Quake goalie Sean Leahy with 31 shots in the frame. Great Falls had 56 shots on goal compared to 26 for the Quake.

“That goalie is very good,” Heimel said. “That’s the same goalie who beat Helena last year … He’s very, very good.”

But they didn’t bury a majority of those chances, and Yellowstone capitalized.

Midway through the second, the Quake’s John Scherer bolted down the left wing and beat Massie high far side.

Still, Devin Panzeca knotted the game at two less than three minutes later. After the Americans won the draw in the Quake’s zone, Panzeca drove the net and converted after Leahy gave up several rebounds. Jonathan Carpenter earned the assist. It was a hard-working goal for Panzeca. It was a microcosm of the final two periods for the Americans: more effort and intensity.

“That’s the type of goal we need to score against a goalie who is good like that,” Heimel said. ” … It’s the type of goal we needed to break it loose.”

Michael Kliment gave the Americans a 3-2 lead with 15:15 left in the third and boy was it pretty. Kliment gathered the puck all alone in front of the Yellowstone net and calmly roofed it top shelf on the backhand. Rarely do you see that kind of goal from a defenseman, which Kliment is.

“Our (defensemen) are special this year, for sure,” Heimel said. ” … We are very offensive on the backend.”

Kalata added his second of the game with just under five minutes left to give Great Falls a 4-2 lead.

Americans 4, Quake 2

Yellowstone 1 1 0 — 2

Great Falls 1 1 2 – 4

Period 1 – 1. Great Falls – Robert Kalata (power play) (Austin Krantz, Wade Wylie) 6:18. 2. Yellowstone – Will Landsverk (John Scherer, Max Doner) 12:11

Period 2 – 3. Yellowstone – John Scherer (Max Doner) 8:24. 4. Great Falls – Devin Panzeca (Jonathan Carpenter) 11:00

Period 3 – 5. Great Falls – Michael Kliment (Robert Kalata, Lucas Stover) 4:45. 6. Great Falls – Robert Kalata (Wade Wylie, Lucas Stover) 15:04

Power Play opportunities — Yellowstone 0 – 3; Great Falls 1 – 3.

Shots on goal by period – Yellowstone 13-7-6—26. Great Falls 10-31-15—56.

Goalies – Yellowstone, Sean Leahy 56 shots/52 saves. Great Falls, Lauren Massie 26/24.

ATT—624.

Attached Photo: Courtesy of Larry Beckner, Tribune Photographer