By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
BOZEMAN, Mont., October 10, 2020 — The Great Falls Americans have played against three of the seven other Frontier Division teams after the first four games of the 2020-21 season.
Great Falls has won three games with two coming against the Butte Cobras (0-4-0-0) and one against the Helena Bighorns (0-4-0-0) heading into their matchup with the Bozeman Ice Dogs (2-2-0-0) at Haynes Pavilion on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Bozeman split their opening season weekend against the Sheridan (WY) Hawks (3-1-0-0) and needed an extra frame on Friday to defeat the Missoula Junior Bruins (3-0-1), 4-3.
Last season, Great Falls struggled offensively when they faced the Ice Dogs as they managed one win in six tries.
Tonight, the Americans have 14 skaters back from last year’s playoff squad ready for their first road test.
A pair of goals by Alex Jackson and one goal apiece by Cole Komarek and Micah Serino helped lead the undefeated Great Falls Americans to a 4-2 road victory over the Bozeman Ice Dogs on Saturday evening in Bozeman, Montana. Trever Mellen ran his record to 4-0 by stopping 34 of the 36 shots in the net for the only undefeated team in the Frontier Division.
During the first 26 seconds of the opening period, Great Falls’ Alex Jackson showed Bozeman why the Americans are undefeated early in the season with assistance from Henry Chavez and Cole Komarek for the first score of the night to take the early lead. Jackson would accumulate his fifth goal in four contests near the midway point of the stanza while Bozeman was down a man while committing one of their three penalties during the first twenty minutes. Blake Nerney and Garret Weisenburger each gathered their first assists of the season.
Bozeman cut into Great Falls’ two goal lead 12 minutes after the first intermission when Kadyn Fennell scored with an assist going to Jack Greeley with 8:16 left made the score 2-1. Six minutes later near the end of the middle period, Cole Komarek connected on a pass from Henry Chavez and AJ Benit for the second successful power play opportunity for the visitors. The Ice Dogs and Americans each attempted 14 shots in the period and 53 overall while combining for four goals.
Kai Kingery pulled the Ice Dogs to within one score early in the final frame for the Ice Dogs. DJ Tamburo Jr. and Hunter Maschke earned the assists for coach Rainer Londino-Green’s group. The Americans would tack on their fourth score to ensure their fourth win in as many games. Daniel Crutcher received his first assist and Tommy Janes would add his fourth as Micah Serino, one of three brothers on the Americans, lit up the lamp over Bozeman goalie Evan Wittchow before their initial meeting concluded.
Great Falls and Bozeman each finished with 36 total shots including 19 in the last period of regulation.
The Americans stayed out of the penalty box for most of the sixty-minute game and just had two minor infractions that were called on them when play expired. Bozeman committed nine minor offenses for 18 minutes.
Trever Mellen started and played nearly the entire game allowing only two goals while in the net and a fourth straight win to start the season. The returning netminder had 34 saves. Brandon Keener and Evan Wittchow saw action for Bozeman, who is now at .500 (2-2-0-0). Keener received 23 of the 32 saves in the loss.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls returns to the Great Falls Ice Plex for their third and fourth home games of the season when they see the Gillette (WY) Wild for the first time this season. The Friday (October 16th) and Saturday (October 17th) night showdowns will begin each night at 7:30PM and will be broadcast live on HockeyTV.