Great Falls eases past Gillette, 4-1 in Wyoming

Photo: Courtesy of Laura Richesin

By Kevin Scott

Box Score Game Sheet League Scoreboard Americans Team Statistics

GILLETTE, Wyo., January 4, 2019 — The Great Falls Americans (25-7-0-1) have defeated the Gillette Wild (14-12-2-1) six out of seven times during the 2018-19 season.

In the six previous contests, the Americans racked up 39 goals and allowed Gillette’s offense to score just 10. The Wild’s only (4-1) victory came on November 24th in Great Falls.

On Friday evening, the Great Falls Americans triumphed 4-1 over the Gillette Wild during the seventh meeting of the year between these two teams. Great Falls is now 6-1 when challenging the Wild. Cody Dearing scored half of his team’s goals while Nate Simpson recorded two assists for the Americans for their 25th win.

Great Falls’ offense scored twice during the first twenty minutes. Ben Rinckey and Levi Mese each netted their ninth goal of the season. Rinckey’s goal 4:56 into the period went unassisted. Levi Mese quickly put the visiting squad ahead by two-goals 27 seconds later. Brody Boyce assisted for the fifth time and Nate Simpson collected the first of his two assists of the contest.

The scoring in the middle period was minimal with Cody Dearing securing the first of his two goals early in the stanza. The assists came from Payton McSharry and Nate Simpson. After two periods, Gillette trailed Great Falls, 31-17 in shots.

Cody Dearing’s slapshot stretched the lead for Great Falls to 4-0 a few minutes into the final period of play. Jens Juliussen and Payton McSharry were each credited with one assist apiece. The home team prevented the Americans from obtaining a shutout when Zach VanComernolle’s goal over Great Falls netminder Drew Scites cut into the lead against one of the top teams in the NA3HL’s Frontier Division. The scoring drive with 9:09 remaining was made possible by Ethan Becker and Jacob Kaminski while on a power play. Both offenses were unsuccessful for the rest of the game.

Great Falls attempted more than ten shots in each of the periods to close out the game with 42. The Wild took seven shots in the second and third frames to finish with 24.

The Americans of coach Greg Sears missed three power play chances while getting whistled for six penalties for 33 minutes. Lindros Beard was sent to the locker room early in the third for fighting with that major penalty accumulating 25 minutes. Gillette had six minor penalties with 33 minutes spent in the sin bin.

Drew Scites, ranked tenth in the league with a GAA (Goals Against Average) of 2.26, redirected 23 of the 24 shots for his 13th victory in 18 appearances. Meanwhile Cody Grogan struggled in the net for Gillette as he gave up four goals and recorded 38 saves.

NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will stay in Wyoming to face the Gillette Wild for the second night in a row on Saturday, January 5th with game time set for 7:05PM from the Spirit Hall Ice Arena.