By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., October 3, 2014 — The Great Falls Americans (3-0) and the Gillette Wild (3-0) faced off for the first time during the 2014-15 NA3HL season as undefeated foes on Friday night in Great Falls.
The Americans, under the direction of head coach Jeff Heimel, have defeated Glacier, Bozeman and last weekend came back from a 3-1 deficit in Billings to win 4-3 in regulation. The Wild so far have wins over Billings and defeated Glacier twice two weeks into the first season for both squads in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL).
Great Falls was able to perform well offensively to pick up a hard fought 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten Gillette in front of 550 spectators at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
Each team was able to register points near the end of the first period. Gillette took the early lead on a goal by Mitchell McEwan with 1:48 on the clock. Trevor Ruiz and Austin Tennant added the assists. The Americans waited until the final eight seconds before Michael Kliment found the back of the net for the power play score off a Mile Giorgione pass to tie up the NA3HL contest. Great Falls registered 16 shots on goal against Gillette goalie Alex Feese while the Wild had 7.
Both teams played well on defensive side with neither team allowing any second period goals. Great Falls forced 14 shot attempts on Gillette goaltender Alex Feese. Great Falls goaltender Evan Hauser faced six shots in the middle period.
Great Falls needed just one goal in the final period to pick up the win and stay undefeated. Great Falls native Dylan Garton registered the final points of the contest with 4:27 remaining. Cody Page and Erik Gatson assisted on the final scoring play of the evening for the Americans.
Michael Kliment converted on the only power play opportunity for the Americans. Gillette went 0-6 on their power plays for the evening.
Evan Hauser only allowed one of Gillette’s 29 scoring opportunities become successful. Meanwhile, Alex Feese had 35 saves for the Wild.
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans (4-0) will remain at the Great Falls Ice Plex for the second game of their two game series with the Gillette Wild (3-1) on Saturday, October 4, 2014. Game time is set for 7:30PM at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||Final|
First Period – 1, Gillette, Mitchell McEwan (Trevor Ruiz, Austin Tennant), 18:12. 2, Great Falls, Michael Kliment (power play) (Miles Giorgione), 19:52.
Second Period – NO SCORING
Third Period –3, Great Falls, Dylan Garton (Cody Page, Erik Gatson), 4:27.
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 37, Gillette 29.
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 1-for-5, Gillette 0-for-6.
Attendance – 550