Americans blank the Quake again for the weekend sweep

Photo: Courtesy of Laura Richesin

By Kevin Scott

Box Score Game Sheet League Scoreboard Americans Team Statistics

GREAT FALLS, Mont., October 20, 2019 — The Great Falls Americans (8-2-1-0) have won 77% of their games so far this season with two regulation losses coming from Gillette (WY) Wild and the Sheridan (WY) Hawks and one overtime setback to the Helena Bighorns last week at home.

During Saturday’s matinee against the third NA3HL franchise from Wyoming, the #3 Americans won their fifth home game of the season by shutting out the Yellowstone Quake (2-10-0-0), who are in seventh place in the eight-team Frontier Division, 5-0. Dylan Olson tallied three points (1 goal, 2 assists) while Americans goaltender Viktor Wennberg went a perfect 17-for-17 in the save’s category for coach Greg Sears’ squad.

Great Falls was trying to win two straight games on Sunday after a 4-3 overtime loss to Helena last week.

Jake Hayes scored two goals, Jack Olson added three assists and goaltender Viktor Wennberg stopped all 16 shots as the Great Falls Americans shutout the visiting Yellowstone (WY) Quake for the second consecutive afternoon, 4-0 on Sunday at the Great Falls Ice Plex. This was the third shutout of the season for the home team.

Just like in Saturday afternoon’s contest, the Great Falls Americans racked up one goal in the first period against the Quake. This time, Jack Olson’s pass to Jake Hayes proved to be successful with the puck going between the pipes and around Yellowstone netminder Michael Allman. Brody Boyce also assisted for the home team. The Wyoming team committed two minor penalties and Great Falls played a penalty-free 35-minute opening period. Great Falls offense shined by picking up 17 of the 21 shots-on-goal.

Great Falls jumped on to a 3-0 advantage halfway through the second stanza when Henry Chavez and Jake Hayes lit up the lamp. California native Chavez netted his second goal of the season with help from forward Jack Olson and goaltender Viktor Wennberg three minutes into the period. Meanwhile, Hayes secured his second goal of the game (10th overall) nearly four minutes later on a power play feed from Brody Boyce and Jack Olson. Olson, the team leader in assists, came away with his third assist of the afternoon (15th of the season). Before the second intermission, Levi Mese fired a shot that sailed through the Quake netminder for the fourth tally. Hendrik Robel and Kellen Harris assisted on Mese’s sixth scoring opportunity in 11 games. Great Falls offense took advantage of a sluggish Yellowstone squad by acquiring 21 shots (38 in two periods) and limiting the visiting team to five (nine total).

It was a quiet third period on the scoreboard. Both defenses denied the opposing offenses from accumulating any scoring opportunities in the final twenty minutes. One minor penalty by the Americans was called in a period that didn’t see too many stoppages of play.

The 685 fans at the Great Falls Ice Plex saw just six combined penalties in the sixty-minute contest with 12 minutes spent in the penalty box. Great Falls went 1-for-4 on the power play while Yellowstone couldn’t convert their two chances.

Jake Hayes led the way for coach Greg Sears’ Americans with two goals while Jack Olson produced three assists and Brody Boyce added two. Viktor Wennberg played a solid game for the second consecutive day in the net registered 16 saves.

The host team attempted over three times as many shots as the visiting squad (52-16). Most of Great Falls’ shots came in the middle period when they racked up 21.

Viktor Wennberg, the 20-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden, has tasted victory in six of his seven appearances and finished with 16 saves and now has 190 saves this season. Michael Allman, the returning goalie from the 2018-19 season, has played in nine games for the Quake (2-6-0-0 record) and ended his afternoon with 48 saves.

NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will be on the road for the fourth time this season when the Butte Cobras entertain them at the Butte Community Ice Center on Thursday, October 24th for a 7:30PM start. Great Falls will return home on Saturday, October 26th when the Missoula Junior Bruins come to the Great Falls Ice Plex for a 3:00PM afternoon contest. HockeyTV, the NA3HL’s official streaming website, has all the action all season long for those that can’t make it to the game.