Bozeman’s comeback falls short against top-seeded Great Falls
By Kevin Scott
BOZEMAN, Mont., February 20, 2015 — The Great Falls Americans (33-8-3) entered Friday’s contest against the fifth place Bozeman Ice Dogs (12-30-1) with the best record in the NA3HL’s Frontier Division.
Bozeman along with the Yellowstone Quake are the only opponents that Great Falls hasn’t lost to all season long with one more week remaining in the regular season. In the seven previous wins against the Ice Dogs, Great Falls has netted 36 goals and allowed only 10 goals including two shutout victories.
Bozeman could not find a way to get out of a two goal deficit and the Great Falls Americans prevailed over the Ice Dogs 3-2 during a Friday night matchup at Haynes Pavilion in front of a few hundred fans.
In a first period that saw neither team come away with any points, Great Falls did win the shots-on-goal category, 15-2 against the host team.
Robert Kalata’s score three minutes into the second period gave the Americans an early 1-0 lead. Craig Hayes and Brendan Jester came away with one assist apiece on the opening scoring drive. Bozeman rallied to tie the contest at 1-1 six minutes after Kalata’s points thanks to a goal by former Great Falls American Devin Panzeca. Gunnar Mogck assisted on the play. Joshua Larson scored before the second intermission for Great Falls with help from Lucas Lomax and Cody Page. Great Falls held the Bozeman offense to just 13 shots after forty minutes of playing time while the Americans registered 30.
Cody Page increased the Americans lead to 3-1 in the final period as the California native racked up his tenth goal of the season off a dish from Joshua Larson and Lucas Lomax, who picked up his second assist of the evening. Lomax’s 19th season assist came with 12:15 remaining in the contest. Great Falls maintained a two-goal advantage until the last 21 seconds when Bozeman’s Kegan Couture found Gunnar Mogck for the tally.
Great Falls, under the direction of coach Jeff Heimel, incurred 18 minutes in penalty time with nine minors while the Ice Dogs accumulated six penalties for 12 minutes.
Leading the way for Great Falls was Cody Page and Joshua Larson who finished with one goal and one assist apiece while Lucas Lomax chipped in two assists. Meanwhile, Gunnar Mogck ended his night against Great Falls with a goal and an assist.
Both teams combined for seven power plays but neither team was able to find the back of the net. In his fourth start since coming over from the North Iowa Bulls earlier this season, Jordan Moran stopped 18 shots. Bozeman goaltender Steven Frank allowed three goals in 39 shot attempts put up by the visitors from Great Falls.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will be in Helena, Montana on Saturday, February 21st for the final regular season road contest against the Helena Bighorns. Coverage starts at 7:00PM from the Helena Ice Arena.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||Final|
First Period – NO SCORING
Second Period – 1, Great Falls, Robert Kalata (Craig Hayes, Brendan Jester), 2:55. 2, Bozeman, Devin Panzeca (Gunnar Mogck), 9:16. 3, Great Falls, Joshua Larson (Lucas Lomax, Cody Page), 16:15.
Third Period – 4, Great Falls, Cody Page (Lucas Lomax, Joshua Larson), 7:45. 5, Bozeman, Gunnar Mogck (Kegan Couture), 19:39.
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 39, Bozeman 20.
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 0-for-2, Bozeman 0-for-5.
Attendance – 235