Gillette downs Great Falls in overtime; Americans first loss of the season

By Kevin Scott

Box Score Game Sheet League Scoreboard Americans Team Statistics

GILLETTE, Wyo., September 29, 2017 — The first road game of the season for the Great Falls Americans began in Gillette, Wyoming on Friday night after starting the season at home for three games.

The Gillette Wild entertained Great Falls at the Spirit Hall Ice Arena.

The Gillette Wild and the Great Falls Americans each scored five goals before overtime. Gillette’s Brooks Mitzel scored the winning goal six seconds into the five-minute overtime to send Great Falls into the loss column for the first time this season.

Gage Thompson set up Jack Oberg for the first and only scoring drive during the first twenty minutes to give the host team the lead. Gillette took 13 shots while holding Great Falls to nine.

Great Falls outscored Gillette 3-0 during the first nine minutes of the middle period. Braxton Lorenz, Garrett Peters and Matt Janke each put points on the scoreboard for coach Jeff Heimel’s Americans. The assists were awarded to Tanner Rath, Kyler Mack, Weston Goodman, Adam Vandenbos and Payton McSharry The Americans 3-1 advantage would be short-lived as Brooks Mitzel scored the first of his two goals while teammate Nick Stockert added his second score of the season before the end of the second period. Great Falls did out-shoot the Wyoming team 16-11 in the stanza.

Returning forward Payton McSharry broke the 3-3 tie during the first 12 seconds as he got the puck by Gillette goaltender Aaron LaChance. Adam Vandenbos contributed his second assist. The home team answered with back-to-back goals. Gage Thompson and Russell Conti gave Gillette coach Brandon Hodge breathing room (5-4 score). Jens Juliussen’s game-tying power play goal for the visiting squad came with under three minutes left in regulation with help from Adam Vandenbos. Overtime was needed to settle the score between these two Frontier Division teams.

The Wild didn’t waste much time picking up the win in overtime. Derek Scoggins and Nick Stockert set up the power play goal six seconds into the overtime. Brooks Mitzel provided the score to end the game.

The Wild scored four of their six goals while the Americans were down a man (penalties). They had committed just four penalties for eight minutes while Great Falls took advantage of one of their three power play chances but committed eight penalties.

Mack Willy suffered his first overtime loss as the goaltender for the Americans. He played the entire contest by having 38 saves despite the six shots he allowed. Aaron LaChance picked up the win for Wyoming with 36 saves.

NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls plays one more game against the Wild at the Spirit Hall Ice Arena (Sept. 30th) before returning home to play the Missoula Jr. Bruins on October 6th.