Photo: Courtesy of Laura Richesin
By Kevin Scott
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GREAT FALLS, Mont., October 19, 2019 — The Yellowstone Quake (2-9-0-0) is the fifth different opponent that the Great Falls Americans (7-2-1-0) have faced in their ten games of the 2019-20 season. Great Falls will face the remaining two teams (Bozeman Ice Dogs and Missoula Jr. Bruins) in the eight-team Frontier Division later in the season.
After nine games, Great Falls is 1-1-0-0 against two of the three Wyoming clubs including the Sheridan Hawks and the Gillette Wild, won both games against the Butte Cobras and has won two games and one overtime loss to the Helena Bighorns (2-0-1-0).
Yellowstone, based in Cody, Wyoming, has struggled with only two victories in ten games. The Quake own two wins against the Helena Bighorns and the Missoula Junior Bruins while they have suffered defeats against the Sheridan Hawks (0-1), Helena Bighorns and Bozeman Ice Dogs (0-3), and Missoula Jr. Bruins (0-1).
The Americans were hoping to start a new win streak against the third junior hockey franchise in Wyoming, the Yellowstone Quake, who come into the Great Falls Ice Plex this weekend looking to get back on track.
Dylan Olson scored one goal and delivered two assists while netminder Viktor Wennberg prevented all 17 shots taken by the Yellowstone Quake’s offense from getting by him to help the Great Falls Americans post a 5-0 shutout victory during Saturday afternoon’s NA3HL showdown with the Cody, Wyoming junior hockey franchise in Great Falls. This was the second shutout earned by Great Falls this season as they also blanked the Sheridan (WY) Hawks, 4-0 back on October 5th in Wyoming.
The hometown Americans controlled possession for most of the opening stanza leading Yellowstone 19-8 in the shots-on-goal category. Great Falls came away with just one goal on the scoreboard but didn’t allow the Quake’s offense too many chances on goal. Returning forward Nick Ramstad slapshot lit up the lamp for his first score of the season as the puck got away from Yellowstone starting goaltender Logan Cooksy four minutes into the Saturday afternoon contest. Ramstad registered four goals during the 2018-19 campaign. Dylan Olson recorded the first of his two assists of the contest and teammate Brody Boyce assisted for the fourth time this season. Five minor penalties occurred during the first twenty minutes.
Hendrik Robel gave the Americans a 2-0 lead midway through the middle stanza off a feed from Jack Olson and Logan Rachow. Robel’s goal with 10:41 remaining was his third of the season while Olson and Rachow earned their eleventh and fourth assists of the season, respectively on the power play scoring drive. Coach Greg Sears’ squad wasn’t done scoring as they scored two goals (including the final one with a second remaining) in the final minute before the second intermission. Jake Hayes and Dylan Olson each racked up one goal apiece while Jack Olson and Kellen Harris assisted on Hayes’ score with 58 seconds on the clock and Logan Rachow gathered his second assist of the day on Olson’s last-second score. Luke Richesin received his seventh overall assist before time expired. All three goals in the period came while the Quake were in the penalty box. Great Falls added 18 second period shots for a total of 37 after two periods while the Wyoming club took three (in the second) and 11 in the first forty minutes.
Great Falls’ Brody Boyce added the fifth goal and final goal for the Americans during the third and final period. Dylan Olson and Blake Nerney collected the assists for the Montana junior hockey squad.
Great Falls accrued seven minor infractions resulting in 14 minutes of penalty time. The Quake had three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties (30 total minutes), one major (five minutes) and 10 minor penalties called on them that accounted for 55 minutes. Americans took advantage of the power play in the middle period by scoring three goals while Yellowstone was in the sin bin. The Quake, who were shutout for the first time this season, failed to produce any goals in their three power play chances.
The third place Americans produced 24 of their 61 total shots during the final stanza. The highest total of shots taken by the Quake was eight in the first period as they finished with 17.
Viktor Wennberg won his second straight game and the Sweden goaltender ran his record to 5-1 on the season. He stopped all 17 shots attempted by Yellowstone’s offense. Minnesota native Logan Cooksy swatted away 56 of the 61 shots in the loss for coach Phil Oberlin’s squad.
NOTE: Sam and Barbara Giammalva drove in from Walla Walla, Washington to see their grandson, Kellen Harris play in his first season in Great Falls for both games this weekend against Yellowstone. Kellen’s parents, Steve and Pam along with brothers Cade and Quinn, watched at home on HockeyTV.
Due to the scheduling conflict at the Great Falls Ice Plex with the University of Providence’s men’s hockey team, the Americans had to change their start time from 7:30PM to 3:00PM for today’s contest. As noted earlier this week, the Great Falls Americans game on Saturday, October 26th at home against the Missoula Junior Bruins has also been moved from 7:30PM to 3:00PM due to a conflict with the University of Providence men’s hockey game scheduled for 7:05PM. Click here to view a revised full schedule.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will host the Yellowstone Quake on Sunday, October 20th at 1:00PM at the Great Falls Ice Plex. Fans can always watch all of the home and away games via the NA3HL’s official streaming website, HockeyTV.