First period goals help Great Falls defeat Billings

By Kevin Scott

Box Score Game Sheet League Scoreboard Americans Team Statistics

GREAT FALLS, Mont., October 3, 2015 — The Great Falls Americans entered Saturday night’s game against the Billings Bulls with an undefeated 4-0 record thanks to a 5-1 win in Havre, Montana on Friday night against the Glacier Nationals, who they have beaten twice already.

The Billings Bulls (0-3) have played half as many games this season including a 3-2 setback against the Yellowstone Quake on Friday night in Wyoming.

Great Falls was looking for their fifth straight victory in three weeks while Billings wanted to go home with the upset and their first win of the season.

The Great Falls Americans (5-0) took advantage of three first period scoring opportunities to defeat the visiting Billings Bulls 4-1 on Saturday night at the Great Falls Ice Plex in front of over 800 spectators. Fans were treated to free T-shirts thanks to the night’s game sponsor, Identity Screen Printing and Embroidery.

Great Falls got on the scoreboard first midway through the opening period. Arseny Ivanov and newcomer Olaf Jensen were credited with the assists as they dished to Adam Apangalook for the first points of the night with 9:48 on the clock.  The Americans went up 2-0 with Austin Krantz’ short-handed score off the stick of Brendan Jester 88 seconds after Apangalook’s points. Before the end of the period, Great Falls went up 3-0 thanks to a tally by Tegan Harrington with assistance from teammates Austin Krantz and Brendan Jester. Krantz currently leads the Americans in assists with six in five games. Great Falls had a 20-6 advantage in the shots-on-goal category after the first twenty minutes of action.

Steven Goran put the fourth point up for coach Jeff Heimel’s squad in the middle period. Josh Larson and Malachi Bushey tacked on the assists in the only score for either team in the period.

In the third period, Billings was able to find the back of the net. Jeremy Vandekerkhove converted the game’s only power play opportunity and the Bulls’ only points of the NA3HL contest. Zach Heiser and Dillon Steh contributed the assists.

Great Falls had nine minor penalties resulting in 18 minutes while the visiting team accounted for 14 minutes in penalty time with seven minors.

The home team more than doubled their shots taken against the team from the Magic City (43-19).

Lauren Massie picked up his third win of the season as the Americans goaltender. He chipped in 18 saves while allowing just one goal.  Brandon Brown finished his evening with 39 saves in 60 minutes of action for the Bulls.

NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls will play two games next weekend (Oct. 9th and 10th) on home ice when the Yellowstone Quake invade the Great Falls Ice Plex. Game time is set for 7:30PM.

Additional Media Coverage: October 3, 2015: Great Falls Tribune: Americans top Billings, stay unbeaten