By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
CODY, Wyo., September 25, 2015 — The Great Falls Americans traveled to Cody, Wyoming for a Friday night contest against the Yellowstone Quake. This was Yellowstone’s first game of the season while Great Falls took care of the Glacier Nationals 12-1 in the Americans home debut a week ago.
The Americans with a regular season record of 34-10-3 won the Frontier Division Championship during the 2014-15 season while Yellowstone struggled throughout the season winning just nine games (9-34-4). The Great Falls franchise won all four of their season matchups against the Quake scoring 24 goals while allowing just four to get by Great Falls’ goalies.
Great Falls Americans forward Ricards Bernhards scored two key goals including the third period goal to send the game into overtime and the game-winning goal to help the Americans stay unbeaten after two games with a 4-3 victory over the Yellowstone Quake at the Riley Arena in Cody, Wyoming.
Both teams put points on the scoreboard during the opening period between these two squads. Austin Krantz struck first for the Americans as Brendan Jester and newcomer Tegan Harrington assisted on the scoring drive within the first ten minutes of action. A goal by Yellowstone’s Nicholas Elliott with 25 seconds to go in the first period tied the contest (1-1). The power play scoring opportunity was assisted by forwards Tony Dahlberg and Jake Dickison. Great Falls failed to get any points off their two power play chances.
During the middle period, Matt Runyon and Jake Dickison found an open Max Doner to put the home team up 2-1. The score would be the only points scored for either team after the first intermission. Great Falls found themselves trailing for the first time this season. Yellowstone held a 24-23 shots-on-goal advantage after two periods of play.
Manuel Manero became the third player to score against the Great Falls squad. Yellowstone’s third point of the evening came thanks to Curtis Greenbush and Tony Dahlberg, who picked up his second assist during the final period. Great Falls would make a comeback. St. Louis, Missouri native Reed Link, one of the returning players from last year’s team, chipped in a goal for Great Falls to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 2:21 remaining. Reed Link then assisted on the game-tying short-handed goal by Latvia native Ricards Bernhards with under one minute in regulation that sent the game into overtime.
The visiting team from Montana didn’t waste any time (55 seconds to be exact) in the extra period as Ricards Bernhards capitalized on an unassisted power play opportunity to lift Great Falls to victory.
The Quake’s Nicholas Elliot and the Americans’ Ricards Bernhards each converted successful power play scoring drives for their squads.
Great Falls finished their road victory incurring 16 minutes of penalty time including eight minors while the host team had 20 minutes in penalties.
Goaltender Jake Stephan, playing in his first game in a Great Falls uniform, played all 60:55 and recorded 33 saves. Meanwhile, Yellowstone’s Lance Knudson accumulated 32 saves but allowed four goals in the season opener for the Wyoming club.
Both teams registered 36 shots on goal during their first meeting of the season.
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will remain in Cody, Wyoming to take on the Quake on Saturday, September 26th at 7:30PM. Great Falls returns to the Great Falls Ice Plex on Saturday, October 3rd for a showdown with the Billings Bulls after Friday’s (Oct.2nd) contest in Havre against the Glacier Nationals.
Additional Media Coverage: September 25, 2015: Great Falls Tribune: Great Falls nip Quake in OT