By Tribune Sports Staff
February 20, 2016
Tanner Congdon and Josh Larson each scored a goal and dished out two assists as the Great Falls Americans defeated the Helena Bighorns 5-1 Saturday night in an NA3HL Junior A hockey game before 840 fans at the IcePlex.
The Americans of coach Jeff Heimel, who clinched a playoff berth via Friday night’s 3-2 victory in Helena, improved to 31-10-2 this season. Helena fell to 21-10-0.
Great Falls is 6-1 against the Bighorns this season.
Miles Giorgione secured his fourth goal of the season and put the Americans in front 1-0 on a power play score with 45 seconds left on the clock before the first intermission. Brendan Jester and Kyle Johnson came away with the assists. The offensive units for both teams chipped in 15 assists.
The home team took a 3-1 lead midway through the second period. Ricards Bernhards and Josh Larson provided the goals for Heimel’s squad. Assisting on the Bernhards scoring drive was Josh Larson and Tanner Congdon.
Congdon acquired his second assist on Larson’s points and Ricards Bernhards picked up his first. Helena’s Tyler Onstott put the first points up for the Bighorns at the 5:03 mark as they trailed 3-1.
Congdon netted his 20th of the season during the first 6:19 of the final period of regulation.
Great Falls had six minor penalties and one major totaling 17 minutes in penalty time. Helena had eight minors resulting in 16 minutes.
The Americans offense made the Helena goaltenders work throughout the night by taking 52 shots.
Two of the Americans five goals came via successful power play opportunities while Helena failed to capitalize on their four chances.
Jake Stephan, the Americans goaltender, stopped 31 of the 32 shots in sixty minutes of action. Meanwhile, Helena’s Adam Ranck had 33 saves before being relieved by Grant Martens, who rejected all 14 shots that came his way.
The Americans will play host to the Billings Bulls on Friday, February 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Ice Plex in their only game of the week.
Americans 5, Bighorns 1
Helena 0 1 0 – 1
Great Falls 1 3 1 – 5
First period – 1. GF, Miles Giorgione (Brendan Jester, Kyle Johnson) 19:15 (pp).
Second period – 2. GF, Ricards Bernhards (Tanner Congdon, Josh Larson) 4:34; 3. GF, Josh Larson (Ricards Bernhards, Tanner Congdon) 9:29; 4. Helena, Tyler Onstott (Johnny Bonta, Jarrett Scheibel) 14:57; 5. GF, Reed Link (Brendan Jester, Kyle Johnson) 17:35 (pp).
Third period – 6. GF, Tanner Congdon (Josh Larson, Arseny Ivanov) 6:19.
Shots on goal – Helena 15-11-6—32; GF 15-17-20—52.
Goalies/saves – Helena, Adam Ranck (38 shots, 33 saves), Grant Martens (6:19 3rd; 14 shots, 14 saves(; GF, Jake Stephan (32 shots, 31 saves).
Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune: Americans skate past Helena Bighorns (February 20, 2016)