By ABC/FOX Montana Sports Staff
March 20, 2014
The Helena Bighorns had a big game offensively on Tuesday night in Game One of the AWHL Final as they defeated the Great Falls Americans 6-1. Game Two on Wednesday night was a different story as both teams came up with great defensive stops throughout the game before the Bighorns pulled out a 2-0 victory in front of 626 fans in attendance at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
The Americans defense came up strong as they played one of their better opening periods this year with the exception of the final four seconds when Americans goaltender Evan Hauser failed to stop Helena’s Logan Henne from scoring. Parker Olson and Corbin Belling assisted on the scoring opportunity. Helena out-shot the Americans during the first twenty minutes of action 20-9.
Both starting goaltenders (Alek Lazarski from Helena and Great Falls’ Evan Hauser) did not allow their opponent’s offenses to get anything past them and as a result there was no scoring in the middle period. Defensive stops were a key factor for both of the top two teams in the American West Hockey League. The Bighorns had twice as many shot attempts (35-17) as did the hometown Americans had after the first two periods.
Damon Hanson capitalized on the only successful power play for either team towards the end of the contest for Helena. Theo Campe and John Bonta assisted on the play with 1:59 remaining in the playoff game. Great Falls were unsuccessful in their five power play chances.
Each team finished the night with nine infractions but the Bighorns spent more time in the penalty box (32 minutes) compared to 21 for Great Falls.
NEXT CONTEST: After the series takes Thursday (March 20th) off, Helena will host Great Falls for Game Three of the 2014 AWHL Championship Series on Friday (March 21st) beginning at 7:35 p.m. at the Helena Ice Arena. If Helena doesn’t sweep the Americans, the Americans will host on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
-Helena: Logan Henne goal (assisted by Parker Olson, Corbin Belling), 19:56 (Helena led 1-0)
Shots On Goal: Helena 20, Great Falls 9.
Shots On Goal: Helena 15, Great Falls 8.
-Helena: Damon Hanson power play goal (assisted by Theo Campe, John Bonta), 18:01 (Helena led 2-0)
Shots on Goal: Helena 13, Great Falls 15.
Shots On Goal (Game): Great Falls (32) Helena (48)
Power Play Opportunities: Helena 1-6, Great Falls 0-5
Story Courtesy: ABC/FOX Montana (KFBB): Bighorns shutout Americans, Take 2-0 Series Lead (March 20, 2014)