By Kevin Scott
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HELENA, Mont., February 3, 2017 — A night after the Great Falls Americans (31-3-2-3) offense earned a convincing 6-1 victory over the Helena Bighorns (11-27-1-0), both teams squared off for the sixth time this year on Friday night in Helena.
Great Falls, with a head-to-head record of 5-0-1, was led on Thursday evening by forward Tanner Congdon who chipped in one goal and dished out two assists. San Francisco, California native Ben Kottmeier scored the lone goal for the Helena Bighorns.
On Friday evening, Great Falls was trying to improve their season record with a 31st victory.
A three-goal second period paved the way for the Great Falls Americans to taste their 31st victory of the season by blanking the Helena Bighorns 4-0 in front of over 600 fans at the Helena Ice Arena.
The first period resulted in neither team finding the back of the net and no penalties were awarded.
Matt Janke, a 5’10” forward from Wisconsin, put the first points up for Great Falls when his unassisted goal came with just over 12 minutes left in second stanza. Before the end of the period, the visiting team would tack on two more goals while the Bighorns were down a man. Tanner Congdon and Brendan Jester each acquired one goal apiece during 4:42 span. Danny O’Donnell, Brendan Jester, Payton McSharry and Danny O’Donnell dished out the assists. The Great Falls offense took 55 shots against Bighorns goaltender Nicholas Battaglia after the first forty minutes.
Great Falls finished off their second game in two days with Brendan Jester’s second goal of the night and 28th overall. Mitchell Ramstad picked up his 14th assist in the third frame while Fairbanks, Alaska native Logan Parsley captured his first assist as a member of the Americans team.
Great Falls capitalized on three of their five power play chances and two penalties. Helena failed to convert either of their power play opportunities. The Bighorns ended the night with five penalties accounting for 10 minutes of penalty time.
The Americans racked up 16 shots in the third period after having a combined 55 in the first two periods to end the contest with 71 while the Bighorns took 27.
Goaltender Nick Nast added 27 saves to his season total of 610. Helena’s Nicholas Battaglia stopped 67 shots in the setback for the Bighorns.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans continue the second of four straight road games on Friday, February 10th with a contest against the Missoula Jr. Bruins. Game time is set for 7:30PM from the Glacier Ice Rink in Missoula, Montana.