By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., November 8, 2014 — After suffering their first loss of the season (1-0) on Friday night against the Billings Bulls, the Americans wanted to start a new winning streak as they entertained the Helena Bighorns (8-3) on Saturday night.
Earlier in the season, Great Falls (13-1) edged the visitors from Helena, MT 1-0 in their first matchup of the season back on October 25th at home.
The home team led 4-0 after the second intermission and cruised to a 4-2 win over the Helena franchise in front of over a thousand loud fans on Saturday night at the Ice Plex.
The Americans struck first as Michael Kliment and Adam Apangalook found an open Robert Kalata for the game’s first score three minutes into the first period. Great Falls would increase their lead to 2-0 when Great Falls native Dylan Garton recorded his sixth goal with 5:51 remaining. Zack Mese and Hunter Garris would each pick up one assist on the scoring drive. The Great Falls franchise would receive their third goal before the end of the period. Lucas Lomax found the open lane and got the puck past Bighorns goaltender Grant Martens for the successful power play score. Kliment added his second assist of the evening and Erik Gatson tacked on his first. Evan Hauser, the NA3HL Goaltender of the Month in October, stopped all seven of the shots taken by Helena in the period.
Lomax picked up where he left off after the first period and scored for the second time off the stick of Zack Mese, who collected his second assist during the opening two minutes of the middle period. Great Falls defender Arseny Ivanov also assisted on the only points of the second period. The Americans had more shots on goal (33-17) after the first forty minutes against the Bighorns.
Helena prevented the Americans from getting a shutout as Jay Forbes put the first points on the board for the Bighorns with 3:24 to go in the contest. The Bighorns picked up another goal to end the game. Matt Mohar found an open Georgy Ostapchuk for the final points.
Evan Hauser allowed only two shots to go by him in the final period and finished with 28 saves for the Great Falls club. Helena’s Grant Martens stopped 40 of the 44 shots that he faced. Lomax first period goal was the only one of five power play chances that the host team converted.
Arizona native Lucas Lomax led the charge with two goals while Zack Mese and Michael Kliment each chipped in two assists for coach Jeff Heimel’s 13-1 Americans.
There were 16 penalties combined for 56 minutes of penalty time between these two rivals.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will be in Billings, Montana to face the Bulls on Friday, November 14, 2014 with the NA3HL contest starting at 7:30PM from the Centennial Ice Arena. This will be the sixth road game of the season for Great Falls.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||Final|
First Period – 1, Great Falls, Robert Kalata (Michael Kliment, Adam Apangalook), 3:25. 2, Great Falls, Dylan Garton (Zack Mese, Hunter Garris), 14:09. 3, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (power play) (Erik Gatson, Michael Kliment), 19:12.
Second Period – 4, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (Zack Mese, Arseny Ivanov), 2:12.
Third Period – 5, Helena, Jay Forbes (Nick Trefry), 16:36. 6, Helena, Georgy Ostapchuk (Matt Mohar), 18:18.
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 44, Helena 30
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 1-for-5, Helena 0-for-3.
Attendance – 1,033