By Kevin Scott
GENEVA, IL., March 20, 2015 — The #3 ranked Great Falls Americans fell short of their attempted comeback bid on Thursday night 3-1 to #5 West Michigan Wolves on the first day of the 2015 NA3HL Silver Cup Championship Tournament in Geneva, Illinois.
The Americans (0-2) opponent on Friday was the #4 Metro Jets (1-1). The Jets are playing their last season in Waterford, Michigan because the team was recently sold and will move to Fraser, Michigan beginning next season. They won the NA3HL’s East Division (37-15-2) with playoff series victories over the Southern Tier Xpress and the Pittsburgh Vengeance. The Jets fell in two overtimes 3-2 to the #1 Nashville Jr. Predators in the first day of action.
The Great Falls Americans (38-12-3) scored only one goal for the second straight day and allowed three by the Metro Jets on Friday afternoon during the second day of the Silver Cup Tournament. Great Falls fell to 0-2 at the Silver Cup Tourney with one more game tomorrow remaining against #2 North Iowa Bulls.
The Metro Jets scored against the Americans defense during the opening minute of the contest. Matt Dempsey’s shot sailed through Americans goaltender Jordan Moran for the first points of the afternoon. David Chavis and Ryan Bloom were credited with the assists for the Michigan NA3HL franchise. Cody Page secured his first point in this tournament midway through the period thanks to Lucas Lomax and Josh Larson, who each assisted in the scoring drive for Great Falls. The score remained 1-1 after the first stanza.
The Metro Jets increased their lead to 3-1 before the second intermission. Alex Holm and Zach Koonce each received one goal apiece in the second period. Jacob Rutkoske assisted on Holm’s goal with 13:24 on the clock while Devin Kelly picked up the assist on Koonce’s successful power play score four minutes later. Tyler Layle earned two assists for the Jets.
There was no scoring for either of the NA3HL clubs in the last period of play.
The Americans, playing in their first season as a member of the NA3HL, had 25 of the 54 shots-on-goal against the Michigan squad.
The Americans finished with five minor penalties for 10 minutes of penalty time while the Jets had twice as many infractions (10 minors) for 20 minutes.
In the other pool play action from the Silver Cup, No. 1 Nashville Jr. Predators (1-1) lost 2-0 to the Granite City Lumberjacks (1-1), the Silver Cup wild card team. The second-ranked North Iowa Bulls (2-0) defeated the West Michigan Wolves (1-1) in the final game of the night by the score of 2-0.
Kameron Limburg provided 24 saves in the win for the Metro Jets and allowed just one first period goal. Meanwhile, Jordan Moran finished the contest with 26 saves after having 29 in the 3-1 loss to West Michigan on Thursday afternoon.
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) announced their end-of-the year awards for the 2014-15 season today and the Great Falls Americans had two players recognized. Lucas Lomax, the 5’10” forward from Phoenix, Arizona, who led the team with 30 goals during the regular season, was a 3rd Team All-NA3HL Selection and was one of six players on the All-Frontier Division Team. Teammate Lucas Stover was also named to the All-Frontier Division Team. Stover, the Carona, California native, played defenseman for the Americans, produced five goals and was second on the team in assists with 20. To read the complete list of NA3HL season award winners, please click here.
NEXT CONTEST: The #3 Great Falls Americans (0-2) will challenge the #2 North Iowa Bulls (1-0), the defending Silver Cup Champions, in their final game on Saturday night at 6:00PM (MST) at the 2015 NA3HL Silver Cup Hockey Tournament at the Fox Valley Ice Garden in Geneva, Illinois. For more information about NA3HL Championship Tournament, please click here.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||Final|
First Period – 1, Metro Jets, Matt Dempsey (Ryan Bloom, David Chavis), 0:37. 2, Great Falls, Cody Page Lucas Lomax,Josh Larson), 11:32.
Second Period – 3, Metro Jets, Alex Holm (Jacob Rutkoske, Tyler Layle), 6:36. 4, Metro Jets, Zach Koonce (power play) (Tyler Layle, Devin Kelly), 10:32.
Third Period – NO SCORING
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 25, Metro Jets 32.
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 0-for-8, Metro Jets 1-for-3.
Attendance – Not Announced
Additional Media Coverage: March 21, 2015: Great Falls Tribune: Great Falls drops another at NA3HL Silver Cup Tourney