By Kevin Scott
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GREAT FALLS, Mont., November 19, 2016 — The Great Falls Americans (11-3-1-2) were looking for their second consecutive victory in as many days. Last night, the home team dominated in a 12-0 shutout victory against the Havre, Montana based Glacier Nationals (1-16-1).
On Saturday night, the second-ranked Americans faced the fourth-ranked Missoula Junior Bruins (10-7-0-1), who fell to the Bozeman Ice Dogs on Friday evening, 3-0. Coach Jeff Heimel’s squad has won two of three against the Bruins this season but lost to the newest member of the NA3HL at the Great Falls Ice Plex back on October 15th in their last meeting, 7-3. The first two wins against the Missoula NA3HL franchise came in early October in Missoula where they out-scored their opponents 5-2.
Danny O’Donnell and Tanner Congdon combined for two goals and seven assists as the Great Falls Americans picked up their second shutout victory in a row by defeating the Missoula Bruins 6-0 on Saturday night. The home crowd of 560 saw the Americans defense keep the visiting team from putting any points on the scoreboard.
Great Falls started out strong by recording two goals during the opening period. Tegan Harrington accumulated his ninth goal during the first three minutes of action. Tanner Congdon and Danny O’Donnell each earned an assist on the first scoring drive by the Americans. Danny O’Donnell added another assist six minutes later as he set up Jesse Johnson to give the Americans a 2-0 advantage. Great Falls took 14 shots against Bruins goaltender Tanner Loucks while limiting Missoula to eight.
After getting two assists in the first stanza, Danny O’Donnell was able to secure the third point for the home team with 11:39 remaining. Jesse Johnson and Brendan Jester each collected their tenth assist of the season. Latvia native Sandis Mezharaups increased the lead (4-0) before the end of the period for the Americans with help from Tanner Congdon and Matt Janke. Both teams combined for 27 shots but only Great Falls lit up the lamp.
Brendan Jester and Tanner Congdon racked up one goal apiece during the final period and the Great Falls defense held up and never allowed the Bruins to get into the scoring column. Danny O’Donnell received assists on each of the goals. Congdon and Harrington also assisted.
Great Falls accumulated six of the nine total penalties in the contest and converted one power play opportunity for a score.
Nick Nast never allowed any of the 35 shots sent his way to get by him during the game for Great Falls. Missoula’s Tanner Loucks produced 37 saves in his third defeat of the season.
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will finish out their sixth consecutive home game on Friday, November 25th when the Billings Bulls come to Great Falls for a 7:30PM contest. The following night (Saturday, November 26th), Great Falls makes the short journey (90 miles) to Helena, Montana to face the Bighorns at 7:05PM.