First period goals spark Great Falls to victory over Bozeman

By Kevin Scott

BOZEMAN, Mont., December 19, 2014 — The last time the Great Falls Americans (23-3) and the Bozeman Ice Dogs (6-21) met this season on November 29th at Bozeman’s Haynes Pavilion the Americans put up four goals and held the home team without a tally.

Great Falls was looking for similar results for their sixth matchup of the 2014-15 NA3HL hockey season. The top-ranked Great Falls club has out-scored the sixth place Ice Dogs 24-6 including two shut-out wins in their previous five meetings.

Great Falls used a three goal first period and allowed only two goals in the last two periods to hold on for a 3-2 win over the host team on Friday night at Haynes Pavilion in Bozeman as the Americans win for the 23rd time in 26 contests. Great Falls remains undefeated on the road (11-0) this season with their three losses all coming on home ice.

Great Falls was led by Lucas Lomax, Connor Barta and Cody Page who each scored once during the opening period in Bozeman. Arseny Ivanov provided the assist on the Lomax score which occurred with 13:11 mark. The Americans final two goals of the period happened with a little over two minutes to go before the first intermission. Brendan Jester and Malachi Bushey got the puck to Connor Barta for the Americans second tally and Miles Giorgione and Erik Gatson picked up one assist apiece on Cody Page’s successful power play opportunity. Great Falls’ Lauren Massie and Bozeman’s Denijs Romanovskis each finished the first twenty minutes with eight saves.

The Ice Dogs scored their first points of the evening with a goal by Kyler Chartier midway through the second period. Thomas Benedict and Gunnar Mogck added the assists for the Bozeman squad. Dylan Garton missed on a penalty shot before the period ended that would have given the Americans a three point advantage. Great Falls did have 27 shots on goal compared to 17 for Bozeman before the second intermission.

The Americans held the Ice Dogs to just one goal in the final period. Gunnar Mogck was able to find the back of the net thanks to help from Ryan Erickson and Kegan Couture with 3:07 left in the NA3HL contest.

Both clubs were able to connect on one of their power play opportunities on Friday evening.

The Great Falls franchise incurred 12 minutes of penalty time with six minor infractions while Bozeman had 3 infractions for six minutes.

The Americans out-shot the Bozeman Ice Dogs 39-23 with 16 of those coming in the middle period.

Bozeman’s Denijs Romanovskis recorded 36 saves in the loss. Lauren Massie was able to stop Bozeman’s offense for the most part in the win but did allow two goals in the last forty minutes of play as he finished with 21 saves.

NEXT CONTEST: The Bozeman Ice Dogs will be in Great Falls on Saturday, December 20, 2014 for a matchup with the top-ranked Americans with the action beginning at 7:30PM at the Great Falls Ice Plex. This will be the final home game of 2014 for Great Falls.


Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Final
Great Falls 3 0 0 3
Bozeman 0 1 1 2


First Period – 1, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (Arseny Ivanov), 6:49. 2, Great Falls, Connor Barta (Brendan Jester, Malachi Bushey), 17:48. 3, Great Falls, Cody Page (power play) (Miles Giorgione, Erik Gatson), 18:56.

Second Period – 4, Bozeman, Kyler Chartier (short-handed) (Thomas Benedict, Gunnar Mogck), 9:19.  Great Falls, Dylan Garton (unsuccessful penalty shot), 11:11.

Third Period – 5, Bozeman, Gunnar Mogck (extra attacker) (Ryan Erickson, Kegan Couture), 16:53.

Shots on Goal – Great Falls 39, Bozeman 23.

Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 1-for-2, Bozeman 1-for-5.

Attendance – 122

Box Score: Great Falls @ Bozeman

Additional Media Coverage: December 19, 2014: Great Falls Tribune: Americans win again