By Kevin Scott
BLAINE, Minn., December 9, 2014 — After two days of competition at the prestigious NA3HL Showcase in Minnesota that began on Sunday, the Great Falls Americans (21-2) have picked up wins over the Minnesota Flying Aces (3-1) and the St. Louis Jr. Blues (4-3 in a shootout).
On the final day of the Minnesota tournament, the Americans faced South Division opponent, the Point Mallard Ducks on Tuesday morning at the Schwan Super Rink. The Point Mallard Ducks, who play their home games in Decatur, Alabama, boast a 13-8 record so far this season including going 1-2 at the Showcase tournament that concluded Tuesday.
Great Falls held off the challenging Point Mallard Ducks in the final game for both teams at the NA3HL Showcase by winning 2-1. The Americans won three games in three days including six straight victories.
Great Falls’ Lucas Stover netted the only goal in the first two periods for either team. His goal sixteen minutes into the first period was assisted by Brendan Jester and Great Falls native Connor Barta, who chipped in his fifth assist of the 2014-15 season.
Jake Cox of Point Mallard scored the game-tying goal with 1:45 left in the final period. Grant Dukus and Noah Gilreath picked up the assists. The contest looked like it might go into overtime but Great Falls found a way to score one more time. Reed Link and Zack Mese found Lucas Lomax for the last second empty net goal to ensure the victory.
The Americans had five power play opportunities but could not capitalize on any of them.
The Montana-based Americans incurred both of their penalties totaling four minutes in the first period and played penalty-free in the final forty minutes of ice time. Point Mallard ended the contest with six infractions for 20 minutes of penalty time.
Evan Hauser turned in another stellar performance in the net by blocking all 24 shots he faced against the Alabama team. Point Mallard’s Cooper Seedott finished with 23 saves despite the loss.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will return home after two days rest with a two-game homestand with the Gillette (WY) Wild on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12-13, 2014. Action both nights begins at 7:30PM at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||Final|
First Period – 1, Great Falls, Lucas Stover (Connor Barta, Brendan Jester), 15:55.
Second Period – NO SCORING
Third Period – 2, Point Mallard, Jake Cox (Grant Dukus, Noah Gilreath), 18:15. 3, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (empty net) (Reed Link, Zack Mese), 19:59.
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 25, Point Mallard 25.
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 0-for-5, Point Mallard 0-for-2.
Attendance – 44