By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
GREAT FALLS, Mont., November 23, 2018 — The four meetings so far this season between the Great Falls Americans (17-3-0-0) and the Gillette Wild (7-10-2-1) have been dominated by the Americans. Each team has hosted one weekend series (two games) with Great Falls coming out on top each time by a combined margin of 27-7 with Great Falls not allowing more than two goals per contest.
Last week, Great Falls fell for the third time in 19 games as the Missoula Jr. Bruins pulled out a 2-1 victory that snapped the Americans five-game winning streak. Missoula and Helena (Bighorns) are the only two teams in the NA3HL’s Frontier Divisions to taste victory against the Americans. Gillette was defeated twice last week by the visiting Helena Bighorns in both games (10-5 loss on Friday and a 6-0 shutout on Saturday).
Payton McSharry scored two goals and dished out one assist, Jens Juliussen had a goal and three assists while netminder Viktor Wennberg compiled 26 saves as Great Falls walloped the visiting Gillette Wild, 8-2 as over 800 fans cheered on the Great Falls Americans on Saturday evening during the first night of Military Appreciation Weekend where military, veterans and their family members received FREE admission.
Great Falls opened the two-game series with Gillette by scoring three goals in the first period. Brandon Peterson and Jens Juliussen assisted on Trent Cowden’s first score within the first five minutes. Jens Juliussen and Garrett Peters garnered the next two goals during power play opportunities with assistance from Payton McSharry, Garrett Peters, Justin Ohnstad and Ben Rinckey. Gillette received their first goal with 3:07 left in the stanza. Gage Thompson was the recipient of a pass by Tyler Kaminski for the Wild’s first and only scoring drive of the first twenty minutes. Great Falls went 2-for-2 on the power play and finished with 19 shots and Gillette took five shots with one goal.
Gillette, Wyoming native Austin Newson pulled to Wild within one (3-2) at the midway point of the middle period. Newson’s goal went unassisted. The Americans rebounded and created their fourth goal 86 seconds after the Gillette score. Minnesota native Dylan Olson scored for the second time this season with help from teammates Sean McLean from Australia and Nick Ramstad of Minnesota to put the home
team back ahead by two goals (4-2). Gillette failed to accumulate any goals with their three power play chances. Great Falls added 13 shots to their total 19 shots in the first period (32) while Gillette creating 11 shots for a total of 16.
Great Falls completed the third and final period by securing four goals in an 11-minute span. Lindros Beard, Justin Ohnstad and Payton McSharry added two third period scoring drives to propel the Americans to an 8-2 win. The assists went to five Great Falls Americans including Jack Olson (2 assists), Justin Ohnstad (2 assists), Jens Juliussen (3 assists), Cody Dearing (2 assists), and Nick Torres, who had one assist.
The Americans attempted1/3 of their shots in the final period (16/48) and Gillette had 12 in the final frame (28 total shots).
Great Falls turned their only two power play opportunities into scores in the opening period. Gillette had no goals in their five power play chances. The Wild had two penalties in the first period while Great Falls committed five penalties over the last two stanzas. All seven minor penalties accounted for 14 minutes in the penalty box.
Viktor Wennberg of Sweden racked up his seventh victory of the season for Great Falls. Oregon native Shane Phillips finished with 40 saves in his sixty minutes of action as the netminder for the visiting team.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will host the Gillette Wild for the final game of their two-game home series on Saturday, November 24th. Action begins from the Great Falls Ice Plex at 7:30PM.