By Tony Adams, Montana Standard

January 6, 2023

BUTTE — The Butte Cobras played their first game of 2023 on Friday night, as they hosted the Great Falls Americans in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Frontier Division hockey action at the Butte Community Ice Center.

In a night where the teams combined for 119 shots on goal, Butte’s Nick Bradshaw scored twice in the second period, and the Cobras withstood constant offensive pressure from the Americans in the third period to hold on for a 2-1 win.

After a scoreless first period, Bradshaw registered his 19th goal of the season with 7:42 left in the second stanza. Patrick Crooks picked up his 17th assist of the campaign, and Drysten Bailey picked up his first assist and point of the year.

Following a roughing penalty assessed to Great Falls forward Noah Osiowy, Bradshaw scored on the power play, with 3:59 remaining in the period. Luke Schleusner logged his 14th assist of the year, and Carson Streich tallied his eighth helper of the campaign.

Great Falls (13-17-1-0, 27 points) cut the margin in half in the third period. Wes Weisenburger and Tyler Sunagel assisted on Silas Hughes’ ninth goal of the season with 15:07 left in regulation.

Butte goaltender Caleb Cross and Great Falls netminder Ryan Stowe steered aside shot after shot late in the game. The Cobras were able to make the one-goal lead stand for the win.

Butte (16-14-1-0, 33 points) outshot Great Falls in the game, 70-49.

The Cobras were 1-for-2 on the power-play, while the Americans were 0-for-3.

Cross stopped 48 shots to improve his record to 12-8 in goal, and improved his goals allowed average (GAA) to 2.81.

Stowe, who has taken up the slack in goal for Great Falls since the departure of Josh Koziol to Augsburg University (Minn.), stopped 68 shots, which is a season high.

The Cobras travel to Bozeman on Saturday evening to take on the Icedogs at 7:30 p.m.

Great Falls returns to action in Helena on Jan. 13.

Story Courtesy: 406 MT Sports: 406MTSports.com: Butte Cobras start 2023 with home win over Great Falls Americans (January 6, 2023)