Late goal lifts Helena to a victory over Great Falls
By Kevin Scott
HELENA, Mont., October 31, 2015 — On Friday night in Great Falls, the Americans had to fight their way to a 3-2 victory over the Helena Bighorns in their first head-to-head matchup of the season. Great Falls scored the winning goal in the final 50 seconds to prevail.
On Saturday night in Helena, it was the same score but a different outcome for the Great Falls Americans. Helena forward Jay Forbes scored the game-winning goal with 2:18 left on the clock to lift the Helena Bighorns to a 3-2 victory over the Great Falls Americans. The loss for Great Falls was their first road defeat this season.
Adam Apangalook, a forward from Wasilla, Alaska, gave the visiting team the first points on the scoreboard halfway through the first stanza. Tanner Congdon and Jesse Johnson received the assists. Great Falls didn’t hold the lead for long as 19 seconds later, the Bighorns found the back of the net. Blake Babineau and Conner Dunn found an open Johnny Bonta for the game-tying score at the 10:57 mark of the period. Brandon Mills helped the Helena franchise lead for the first time with a goal against Americans goalie Lauren Massie with 3:02 on the first period clock. Riley Keays and Connor Dunn added the assists. Great Falls had 11 of the 23 shots-on-goal before the first intermission.
Both defenses didn’t allow any scoring during the middle period.
Tanner Congdon scored for the Americans quickly as his goal 12 seconds into the last period tied it at 2-2. Just like the previous night, the game appeared to head into overtime but with two minutes remaining, California native Jay Forbes got the puck between the pipes for the winning score. Johnny Bonta and Michael Ballard gathered the assists for the Bighorns.
Great Falls allowed seven power plays but didn’t give up any goals in their thirteenth game of the season.
Both squads combined for 21 penalties resulting in 50 total penalty minutes.
Tanner Congdon finished the night for the top-ranked Americans with one goal and one assist while Helena was led by Johnny Bonta racked up one goal and one assist, Connor Dunn provided two assists.
Grant Martens, the winning goalie on the night, stopped 35 of the 37 shots he faced while the Americans top goalie, Lauren Massie chipped in 25 saves.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls faces the Gillette Wild on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 6-7th) with the action at the Great Falls Ice Plex slated to start at 7:30PM each night.