By Kevin Scott
HELENA, Mont., January 17, 2015 — The Great Falls Americans (28-5-1) have defeated the Helena Bighorns (23-9-1) four of the last five meetings including a 2-0 setback two weeks ago in Montana’s capital city.
Despite scoring three goals in the middle period, the Americans fell to the Helena Bighorns 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night in front of a large crowd of 1,056 at the Helena Ice Arena.
Helena’s Brandt Miller added a pair of goals in the first period to give the host team a 2-0 lead before the first intermission. Johnny Bonta assisted on each goal and Matt Mohar picked up one before the first intermission.
Georgy Ostapchuk, who came to Great Falls via a trade from Helena, tallied his first goal for the Americans in the second period to make the score 2-1. Lucas Stover and Cody Page each registered assists on the first scoring drive for the Americans three minutes into the period. After providing an assist in the opening period, Helena’s Matt Mohar increased the lead for the Bighorns (3-1). Johnny Bonta received his third assist while Brandt Miller had one. Lucas Stover and Lucas Lomax scored over Helena goaltender Grant Martens to tie the NA3HL contest 3-3. The three players that assisted on the scoring drives included Georgy Ostapchuk, Blake Miller and Hunter Garris. Helena racked up 22 shots while Great Falls added 17 after the first two periods of action.
The game went into overtime since neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third period.
Bighorns standout Kendall Bolen-Porter provided the winning score off a pass from Rory Bock three minutes into overtime.
Both teams managed to stay out of the penalty box with each team tallying one minor for two minutes of penalty time.
The second place Bighorns were paced by Brandt Miller who finished his night with two goals and one assist and Johnny Bonta acquired three assists. Russia native Georgy Ostapchuk and Lucas Stover led the top-ranked Americans by scoring a goal and an assist.
Grant Martens denied 25 of the 28 shots that Great Falls sent his way. Lauren Massie accumulated 26 saves and now has 472 saves on the season.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will begin a two game road trip to Gillette, Wyoming to face the Wild on Friday and Saturday, January 23-24, 2015. Game time each night begins at 7:05PM.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||OT||Final|
First Period – 1, Helena, Brandt Miller (Johnny Bonta), 1:59. 2, Helena, Brandt Miller (Matt Mohar, Johnny Bonta), 7:56.
Second Period –3, Great Falls, Georgy Ostapchuk (Lucas Stover, Cody Page), 3:19. 4, Helena, Matt Mohar (Brandt Miller, Johnny Bonta), 10:55. 5, Great Falls, Lucas Stover (Georgy Ostapchuk, Blake Miller), 15:11. 6, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (Hunter Garris), 17:56.
Third Period – NO SCORING
Overtime –7, Helena, Kendall Bolen-Porter (Rory Bock), 3:23.
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 28, Helena 30.
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 0-for-1, Helena 0-for-1.
Attendance – 1,056