Photo: Courtesy of Laura Richesin
By Kevin Scott
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GILLETTE, Wyo., October 13, 2018 — The Great Falls Americans came away with a 7-2 win against the Gillette Wild for their tenth win in 11 tries on Friday night in Wyoming. While the Americans remain perfect at home, the team’s only loss on the road came on September 29th when they lost to the Helena Bighorns, 7-1.
The Great Falls Americans (11-1-0-0) handed the Gillette Wild (2-6-1-1) their eighth loss of the season as they rolled to a 5-1 victory in Wyoming on Saturday night at the Spirit Hall Ice Arena. Their five-game winning streak continued thanks to two goals by Payton McSharry.
After Saturday’s victory, Great Falls sits atop the Frontier Division standings at 11-1-0-0 while Helena is second after being undefeated through ten contests.
Great Falls struck first when Levi Mese tacked on his fourth goal of the year off the stick of Nick Ramstad and Alexi Suchomlin during the first two minutes of the game. Great Falls and Gillette’s defenses prevented their opponent from scoring until the 100 seconds of the period. The Wild evened up the score on a power play score by Zach VanCompernolle. Gage Thompson and Ethan Becker each accumulated one assist. Matt Janke and the Americans offense would have the final say before the end of the period. Janke helped the visiting team regain the lead (2-1) during the scoring drive that came with 48 ticks on the clock. Payton McSharry and Jens Juliussen were awarded the assists. Great Falls took 17 shots on Gillette goaltender Shane Phillips.
A few minutes into the second period, Payton McSharry struck pay dirt when he scored the Americans third goal of the contest with help from teammates Jens Juliussen and Nick Torres for coach Greg Sears’ division leading squad. As the middle period wound down, Nate Simpson added his second goal of the season while the Wild were in the penalty box as Lindros Beard and Garrett Peters helped set up the successful drive.
There was no scoring by either team until the last five minutes of regulation when Great Falls’ Payton McSharry answered the call to send the Americans to their fifth straight victory including three on the road. The Alaska native netted his twelfth goal while Matt Janke and Jens Juliussen recorded the assists.
Each team committed five penalties and converted one of their four power play chances into goals scored. The Americans concluded their three-game weekend road trip form Bozeman to Gillette (WY) by taking 47 shots.
Drew Scites continued to prove whey he is one of the best goaltenders in the NA3HL when he allowed just one goal while acquiring 32 saves. Gillette netminder Shane Phillips deflected 42 of the 47 shots.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls looks for their sixth consecutive win when they host the Helena Bighorns and Missoula Junior Bruins on October 19th and 20th, respectively. The Great Falls Ice Plex is the site of the 7:30PM matchup each night.
Additional Media Coverage: October 13, 2018: Great Falls Tribune: Americans maintain Frontier Division lead with sweep at Gillette