By Tribune Sports Staff
March 19, 2018
HELENA — The 2017-18 NA3HL Frontier Division season ended for the Great Falls Americans Saturday night at about 9:51 p.m.
The Jeff Heimel era with the team ended at about the same time.
Heimel, the Americans’ coach for the past six years, could do nothing from behind the bench as he watched Great Falls get blanked by the Helena Bighorns 4-0, giving the Capital City team a 2-0 sweep of their first-round playoff series at the Helena Ice Arena.
Hayden Seitz assisted on the first Bighorn goal, a power-play effort by Ben Kottneier nearly 14 minutes into the match, and scored the final tally unassisted on a short-handed effort with 5:09 left in the contest.
All four goals happened with Bryan Sharp between the pipes. He saved 30 shots on goal, while his counterpart, Nick Battaglia, was successful on all 32 shots taken by the Americans.
Justin Sullivan and Luc Cross also scored for Helena, who will face the Yellowstone Quake in the Frontier Division Finals starting later this week. The Quake were 6-5 winners over the Gillette Wild Saturday night to sweep their matchup in two games.
Heimel will become the head coach for a brand new University of Providence hockey program now that the playoffs have ended for Great Falls.
Great Falls 0 0 0 — 0
Helena 2 0 2 — 4
First period – 1. HEL, Ben Kottmeier (Hayden Seitz, Jeremy Solko), 13:56 (pp). 2. HEL, Justin Sullivan (Kaden Lindberg, Gavin Cline), 16:48 (pp).
Second period – no scoring.
Third period – 3. HEL, Luc Cross (Henry Kipper, Lindberg), 4:47. 4. HEL, Seitz, 14:51 (sh).
Power play opportunities – GF 0 for 4. HEL 2 for 6.
Shots on goal (by period) – GF 6-10-16–32. HEL 13-10-11–34.
Goalies – GF, Bryan Sharp (L, 34 shots, 30 saves). HEL, Nick Battaglia (W, 32 shots, 32 saves).
Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune: Americans eliminated from playoffs (March 19, 2018)