By Tribune Sports Staff

September 28, 2021

Americans again forced to reschedule games

GREAT FALLS, MT – Once again, the Great Falls Americans Junior A Hockey team has to revamp their calendar.

The North American Tier 3 Hockey League Frontier has again been forced to place their home opener with the Helena Bighorns, originally slated for Thursday night at the IcePlex, on hold until a date can be found that will be suitable for both teams.

Also, a weekend series set for Friday and Saturday against the Sheridan Hawks has been moved to the Hawks’ home ice, inside the Whitney Rink at the M&M Center in Sheridan, Wyo. Each match is set for 7:30 p.m.

According to a press release from the Great Falls Ice Plex, home ice for the Americans, “a significant number of leaks in the pipes that are part” of the system that creates the ice on the floor of the rink were discovered early in September.

“These pipes run a coolant underneath the ice to hold the necessary temperature for making and sustaining ice throughout the season,” the release continued. “The health of these pipes is essential to the operation of our rink.

“Due to the leaks, we’ve had to halt ice making and are removing several inches of sand to expose the pipes and make repairs.”

Due to the repair process, the matches with Sheridan will mark the sixth and seventh times this season the Americans have been forced to play in enemy territory. The repair process would also include the pouring of a concrete floor which is expected to cost as much as $1 million.

The Ice Plex and Americans are still hopeful the repair will be finished so Great Falls can schedule their home opener for next weekend, Oct. 8-9, against the Helena Bighorns.

With five points, the Americans are tied for third place in the NA3HL Frontier Division with a record of 1-1-2-1. They were swept over the weekend by the Gillette Wild at Spirit Hall Ice Arena with back-to-back overtime losses.

Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune: Regional Briefs: Ice making repairs rquire Americans to reschedule more home games (September 28, 2021)