By Kevin Scott
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GREAT FALLS, Mont., October 9, 2015 — The Great Falls Americans have already played the Yellowstone Quake this season in their second and third games of the season two weeks ago and they have come out victorious in both games that took place in Wyoming.
The Americans needed overtime to defeat the home team 4-3 followed by a 5-1 victory the second night of a two-game series back on September 25-26th.
Yellowstone, with a record of 2-2-1 with their first victory coming against the Billings Bulls, last week, made their first road trip of the season after having their first four NA3HL contests at Victor Riley Arena.
Meanwhile, Great Falls has rattled off five wins in five games including three road wins at Yellowstone (2) and Glacier (Nationals).
The Yellowstone Quake pulled out the upset over the previously undefeated Great Falls Americans on Friday night at the Great Falls Ice Plex. Yellowstone secured a 2-1 lead going into the final period and picked up their second win of the season by that same score. Great Falls fell to 5-1 after six games but still maintains first place in the NA3HL’s Frontier Division.
The opening stanza remained scoreless until the final 6:19 when the Americans found themselves down 1-0. Matt Runyon’s pass to an open Nick Green for the score put the Quake ahead early on. Yellowstone allowed the Americans to take just four shots during the first twenty minutes while Yellowstone added 12.
Each team contributed one goal during the next period. Great Falls tied it at 1-1 as Steve Goran netted the Americans first goal thanks to assistance from Mitchell Ramstad and Miles Giorgione. Yellowstone regained the lead on a goal with 19 seconds left before the second intermission. Ukraine native Vadym Nesteruk put the puck between the pipes with help from Hunter Ruschmeyer, who earned his first assist of the evening.
Nesteruk’s goal by the Wyoming franchise turned out to be the game-winner as neither team racked up any points in the third period.
Each team was unsuccessful in their four power play chances.
Great Falls incurred four minor penalties for 18 minutes while the visiting Quake accumulated eight minutes with four minors.
The Americans, who fell at home for the first time this season, outshot the Quake 22-12 during the final two periods after taking just four shots in the opening period.
Yellowstone goaltender Lance Knudson earned his first victory in three tries and finished with 25 saves. Despite the loss, Great Falls’ Jake Stephan stopped 22 of the 24 shots while allowing one goal during the first and second periods. Stephan, a Wisconsin native, is now 1-1 on the season.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls will play the Yellowstone Quake again on Saturday, October 10th at 7:30PM at the Great Falls Ice Plex.