GF Tribune: Americans hockey on verge of division championship

Photo: Courtesy of Julia Moss, Great Falls Tribune Photographer

By Tribune Sports Staff

March 11, 2016

Six different players scored goals Friday night as the Great Falls Americans moved to within one point of the NA3HL Frontier Division lead with a 6-4 victory over the Yellowstone Quake at the IcePlex.

If the Americans prevail Saturday night in the regular-season finale at the IcePlex, they will be Frontier Division champions.

Kyle Johnson, Tegan Harrington, Brendan Jester, Arseny Ivanov, Steven Goran and Josh Larson scored Friday night for Great Falls (34-10-2, 70 points), which thrilled a crowd of more than 1,000 at the IcePlex.

Great Falls trails the Quake by one point going into Saturday’s regular-season finale between the same two clubs at the Ice Plex at 7:30.

Goalie Jake Stephan redirected 28 of 32 shots he faced in net. Larson’s short-handed goal in the third period provided the final margin.

The Great Falls franchise is owned by Jim Keough. Under head coach Jeff Heimel, the Americans have enjoyed tremendous success.

Last season the Americans won the Frontier Division championship and finished with a 38-13-3 record. This year, Heimel’s fourth at the helm, the Great Falls club has again been a powerhouse in the NA3HL.

If the Americans win Saturday night, the Frontier Division playoffs will open in Great Falls at the IcePlex on Thursday night. If the Americans win the Frontier title, they advance to Chicago with other division winners to compete for the NA3HL championship.

Americans 6, Quake 4

Yellowstone 1 2 1 – 4

Great Falls 2 3 1 – 6

First period – 1. Great Falls, Kyle Johnson (Reed Link) 8:21. 2. Yellowstone, Tony Dahlberg (Will Landsverk) 9:53. 3. Great Falls, Tegan Harrington (Kyle Johnson, Tyler Garcia) 11:06.

Second period – 4. Yellowstone, Nick Greene (Max Doner) 1:22. 5. Great Falls, Brendan Jester (Stevan Goran, Austin Krantz) 5:26. 6. Yellowstone, Mason Stewart (Tony Dahlberg) 8:48. 7. Great Falls, Arseny Ivanov (unassisted) 17:29. 8. Great Falls, Stevan Goran (Kyle Johnson, Miles Giorgione) 18:58 (pp).

Third period – 9. Great Falls, Josh Larson (Tegan Harrington) 5:38 (sh). 10. Yellowstone, Mike McCullen (Cosimo Yapello, Nick Pizzey) 10:06.

Shots on goal by period – Yellowstone 10-17-5—32. Great Falls 22-15-12—49.

Goalies/saves – Yellowstone, Garret Matz (L, 49 shots, 43 saves). Great Falls, Jake Stephan (W, 32 shots, 28 saves).

T – 2:07. A – 1,142.

Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune: Americans hockey on verge of division championship (March 11, 2016)