By Tribune Sports Staff
Sunday, March 15, 2015
HELENA – The Great Falls Americans got goals from Cody Page and Zach Mese within a 73-second frame in the third period, and Lucas Lomax, Josh Larson and Erik Gatson added goals as the Americans went on to defeat the Helena Bighorns 6-2 to sweep the best 2-out-of-3 NA3HL Frontier Division championship Saturday at the Helena Ice Palace.
Page tallied off a Larson pass at 2:17 of the third, just after Helena’s Gavin Lubin finished serving his two minutes for elbowing. Then, at the 3:30 mark, Mese fired one past Helena goalie Adam Ranck off passes from Gatson and Brendan Jester to make the score 3-1.
Lucas Lomax started the scoring for the Americans, hitting the back of the net with 2:45 left in the first off feeds from Larson and Page, but Brandt Miller had the answer, scoring the equalizer off a Jay Forbes’ pass less than a minute later. Then, with Page in the sin bin for slashing, Larson scored a shorthanded tally with 12 minutes left. Gatson took a Jester pass and scored 21/2 minutes later.
The Bighorns pulled Ranck out of goal during a power play for a 6-on-4 advantage with seven minutes left in the third, and it paid some dividends as Cody Vanthournout scored to make it 5-2, but after the Bighorns killed a penalty, Blake Miller lit the lamp at the five-minute mark with an empty netter, and the Americans were ready to celebrate.
Jordan Moran got the win between the pipes, redirecting 36 of the 38 shots on goal he faced.
The Americans will represent the Frontier Division at the NA3HL Silver Cup Tournament March 19-22 in Geneva, Ill.
Americans 6, Bighorns 2
Great Falls ……………………………………1 0 5 – 6
Helena …………………………………………1 0 1 – 2
First period – 1. Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (Josh
Larson, Cody Page), 17:15. 2. Helena, Brandt Miller
(Jay Forbes), 18:09.
Second period – no scoring.
Third period – 3. Great Falls, Page (Larson), 2:17.
4. Great Falls, Zach Mese (Erik Gaston, Brendan
Jester), 3:30. 5. Great Falls, Larson (Lomax), 8:07
(sh). 6. Great Falls, Gatson (Jester), 10:33. 7. Hele-
na, Cody Vanthornout (Kendall Bolen-Porter, Mil-
ler), 13:01 (pp/extra attacker). 8. Great Falls, Blake
Miller (unassisted), 15:24.
Power play opportunities – Great Falls 0-5. Hele-
Shots on goal by period –
Great Falls 9-9-12–30.
Goalies-saves – Great Falls, Jordan Moran (36
saves on 38 shots) . Helena, Adam Ranck (27-22),
Grant Martens (10:33 3rd, 2-2).
Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune (March 15, 2015)