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Great Falls skates by Gillette in Game 1 of AWHL Semifinals

 

Great Falls skates by Gillette in Game 1 of AWHL Semifinals

By Kevin Scott

GILLETTE, Wyo., March 11, 2014 —he Great Falls Americans opened up their first playoff appearances since the team was brought back in 2011 with a 5-1 win and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five semifinals against the Gillette Wild at the Campbell County Ice Arena in Gillette, WY on Tuesday night in front of 516 fans in attendance.

Gillette’s Alex King made sure that the Wild took advantage of the first scoring opportunity for both teams. His goal with 6:18 remaining in the first period with help from Trent Dillinger gave the host team the early lead after the first twenty minutes. The Americans took only five shots on goal for the period.

As they have done on many occasions this season, the Americans found a way to get the puck in the net during the middle period. Four different Great Falls players were able to get in the scoring column. Lucas Lomax and Reed Link found an open Erik Gatson during the first 64 seconds to tie the contest with a power play goal. Brady Christiaens broke the tie for the Americans eight minutes later as Max Kaercher and league MVP Aaron McInnis each added the assists. Great Falls capitalized on their second power play opportunity as Steven Goran gave the second place Americans a two goal lead thanks to Connor Barta and Lucas Stover with 4:41 to go before the second intermission. Before the end of the period, Donovan Mattfeldt increased the lead for coach Jeff Heimel’s team to 4-1. Lucas Lomax chipped in his second assist while Erik Gatson added one to his season total of 29.

Both offenses struggled to find the back of the net in the final period. Great Falls received one goal from Lucas Lomax, who also finished with two assists in the first game of the American first playoff series in their three year existence. Assisting on the final score was Donovan Mattfeldt and Dylan Garton.

Gillette edged the Americans with a 30-26 shot attempt advantage. The Wild used both of their goalies with starter Sean Kelley stopping 20 of 25 shot attempts by the Americans offense in 54 minutes of action. Michael Kitts added a save in the final six minutes. Great Falls’ Erik Powell, who earlier this week was named to the AWHL All-League Second Team as a goaltender, finished with 29 saves and allowed only one goal in the first period. Great Falls and Gillette finished the night with identical penalty totals (10 infractions for 31 minutes). Great Falls went 2-for-4 in power plays thanks to second period goals by Erik Gatson and Steven Goran.

Great Falls leads the best-of-five series 1-0 with game two on Wednesday night (March 12th) at 7:00 p.m. at the Campbell County Ice Arena in Gillette.

Meanwhile, in the other semifinal, top-ranked Helena shut-out Billings 4-0 to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series.

NEXT CONTEST:  The Americans will stay in Gillette, WY for Game Two of the AWHL Semifinals for a 7:00 p.m. showdown with the Wild. The best-of-five series will return to the Great Falls Ice Plex on Friday, March 14th at 7:00 p.m. for Game 3 and if necessary, Game 4 and 5 will be in Great Falls too. See full schedule below.

 2014 AWHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: Best of Five

Wednesday, March 12th: Game 2: Great Falls @ Gillette Wild, 7:30 p.m., Gillette, WY

Friday, March 14th: Game 3: Gillette Wild @ Great Falls, 7:00 p.m., Great Falls Ice Plex, Great Falls, MT

Saturday, March 15th: Game 4: Gillette Wild @ Great Falls, 7:30 p.m., Great Falls Ice Plex, Great Falls, MT (if necessary)

Sunday, March 16th: Game 5: Gillette Wild @ Great Falls, 4:00 p.m., Great Falls Ice Plex, Great Falls, MT (if necessary)

 

Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Final
Great Falls 0 4 1 5
Gillette 1 0 0 1

 

First Period 1, Gillette, Alex King (Trent Dillinger), 13:42.

Second Period – 2, Great Falls, Erik Gatson (power play) (Lucas Lomax, Reed Link), 1:14. 3, Great Falls, Brady Christiaens (Aaron McInnis, Max Kaercher), 9:11. 4, Great Falls, Steven Goran (power play) (Connor Barta, Lucas Stover), 15:19. 5, Great Falls, Donovan Mattfeldt (Lucas Lomax, Erik Gatson), 17:43.

Third Period –6, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (short-handed) (Dylan Garton, Donovan Mattfeldt), 14:06.

Shots on Goal – Great Falls 26, Gillette 30.

Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 2-for-4, Gillette 0-for-6.

Attendance – 516

Box Score: Great Falls @ Gillette

Final Campbell County Ice Arena    Tue, Mar 11, 2014 7:00 PM MST
Great Falls 5 Gillette 1

 

GAME DETAILS
SCORING SHOTS
1 2 3 TOTALS
Great Falls 0 4 1 5
Gillette 1 0 0 1
1 2 3 TOTALS
Great Falls 5 12 9 26
Gillette 12 6 12 30

 

POWERPLAYS
Great Falls 2 – 4 : Gillette 0 – 6

 

SCORING SUMMARY
Period 1
GilletteAlex King (Trent Dillinger) 13:42
Period 2
Great FallsErik Gatson (power play) (Lucas Lomax, Reed Link) 1:14
Great FallsBrady Christiaens (Aaron McInnis, Max Kaercher) 9:11
Great FallsSteven Goran (power play) (Connor Barta, Lucas Stover) 15:19
Great FallsDonovan Mattfeldt (Lucas Lomax, Erik Gatson) 17:43
Period 3
Great FallsLucas Lomax (short handed) (Dylan Garton, Donovan Mattfeldt) 14:06
PENALTIES
Period 1
GilletteDarren Banks – (Fighting) (Major), 5 MIN, 2:12
Great FallsSteven Butts – (Fighting) (Major), 5 MIN, 2:12
GilletteTJ McMinn – (Tripping), 2 MIN, 7:47
Great FallsSteven Goran – (Roughing), 2 MIN, 14:03
GilletteBrandon Miller – (Roughing), 2 MIN, 14:42
Great FallsLucas Lomax – (Cross Checking), 2 MIN, 15:01
GilletteBrandon Castleberry – (Roughing), 2 MIN, 19:14
Period 2
GilletteTrent Dillinger – (Roughing), 2 MIN, 11:44
Great FallsSteven Goran – (Interference), 2 MIN, 11:44
Great FallsLucas Lomax – (Unsportsmanlike Conduct), 2 MIN, 12:10
GilletteShane Brown – (Unsportsmanlike Conduct), 2 MIN, 12:10
GilletteDalton McCann – (Holding), 2 MIN, 13:24
GilletteDarren Banks – (Delay of Game), 2 MIN, 13:48
Period 3
Great FallsDylan Garton – (Interference), 2 MIN, 10:18
Great FallsSteven Goran – (Hooking), 2 MIN, 13:19
Great FallsSteven Butts – (Roughing), 2 MIN, 19:21
Great FallsSteven Butts – (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) (Misconduct), 10 MIN, 19:21
GilletteDylan Eldridge – (Roughing), 2 MIN, 19:21
GilletteDylan Eldridge – (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) (Misconduct), 10 MIN, 19:21
Great FallsJonnathan Carpenter – (Hooking), 2 MIN, 19:21

 

 Great Falls  Gillette
# NAME G A PTS +/- S PIM
1 Powell, Erik 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Sartuche, Paul 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Krantz, Austin 0 0 0 -1 0 0
6 Garton, Dylan 0 1 1 0 0 2
8 Lomax, Lucas 1 2 3 +2 0 4
9 Goran, Steven 1 0 1 +1 0 6
11 Kaercher, Max 0 1 1 0 0 0
13 Mattfeldt, Donovan 1 1 2 +2 0 0
14 Carpenter, Jonnathan 0 0 0 0 0 2
15 Butts, Steven 0 0 0 -1 0 17
16 Mese, Zack 0 0 0 +1 0 0
17 Gatson, Erik 1 1 2 +1 0 0
18 Link, Reed 0 1 1 0 0 0
19 Carter, Trent 0 0 0 0 0 0
20 Christiaens, Brady 1 0 1 +1 0 0
23 Stover, Lucas 0 1 1 +2 0 0
27 Nottke, Austin 0 0 0 0 0 0
29 Barta, Connor 0 1 1 0 0 0
30 Hauser, Evan 0 0 0 0 0 0
93 McInnis, Aaron 0 1 1 +1 0 0
# NAME G A PTS +/- S PIM
3 Dillinger, Trent 0 1 1 0 0 2
4 Engdahl, Chase 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 Reble, Tyler 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Mitzel, Bryce 0 0 0 -1 0 0
8 Sauers, Greg 0 0 0 -1 0 0
10 Miller, Brandon 0 0 0 -1 0 2
11 Mead, Nick 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 Fobair, Will 0 0 0 -1 0 0
16 McCann, Dalton 0 0 0 -1 0 2
17 Istominov, Andrii 0 0 0 0 0 0
19 Brown, Shane 0 0 0 -2 0 2
20 McMinn, TJ 0 0 0 -2 0 2
21 Kasdorf, Jonathan 0 0 0 0 0 0
22 Burke, Michael 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 King, Alex 1 0 1 0 0 0
26 Eldridge, Dylan 0 0 0 +1 0 12
29 Banks, Darren 0 0 0 -1 0 7
30 Kitts, Michael 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 Kelley, Sean 0 0 0 0 0 0
33 Castleberry, Brandon 0 0 0 -1 0 2
  GOALIES
NAME DEC Min SHOTS SAVES
1 Erik Powell WIN 60:00 30 29
30 Evan Hauser (b)
NAME DEC Min SHOTS SAVES
31 Sean Kelley LOSS 54:06 25 20
30 Michael Kitts 5:54 1 1

 

PENALTY TOTALS
Great Falls 31 minutes on 10 infractions Gillette 31 minutes on 10 infractions

 

 

OTHER FACTS
Game Length: 2:40
Attendance: 516