By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
GREAT FALLS, Mont., February 23, 2018 — On Friday evening, it was the battle of two of the top teams in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), when the Yellowstone Quake, based out of Cody, Wyoming, came to town to challenge the Great Falls Americans (30-10-2).
Leading up to this game, Great Falls is 2-4 against the Quake and winless in their two previous games at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
Would Great Falls be able to find an answer to overcome Yellowstone?
Short answer is yes, but it would prove to be a difficult task.
The second-ranked Great Falls Americans had their hands full with the Yellowstone Quake as they needed a shootout to claim a 2-1 win on Friday night as over 1,090 fans filled the Great Falls Ice Plex to see two of the best junior hockey teams play. This was Great Falls’ second shootout win as they edged the Gillette Wild by the same score back in January.
The Great Falls and Yellowstone defenses came up big during the first two periods. Despite no scoring in the first forty minutes, the Americans held a slim 26-25 lead in the shots-on-goal category.
In the third period, Cole Stewart opened the scoring for the Quake with a goal six minutes into the last period of regulation. Ethan Sievek and Shaw Walworth each added an assist to their playing resume. Just when Yellowstone thought they had won the contest; Great Falls rallied in the final four seconds to tie the contest and send it to an overtime. Kyler Mack gave the Americans hope with help from Michael Fary and Payton McSharry. Great Falls was out-shot by the visiting team, 35-25.
The five-minute overtime didn’t declare a winner with neither team finding a way to score. A shoot-out was now needed.
Matt Janke was the only player on either side to successful score a goal during the one-on-one shootout against the Wyoming team. Brandon Vukasin, Payton McSharry, Weston Goodman, Jens Juliussen, Noel Parker, and Adam Vandenbos could not convert their attempts against Yellowstone netminder Reid Waszczenko.
The five combined power play opportunities that presented themselves came up empty. The seven overall penalties resulted in 14 minutes in the penalty box.
Drew Scites showed why he is one of the top goaltenders in the NA3HL. He redirected 64 of the 65 shots that the Yellowstone offense attempted against him. Reid Waszczenko also played an excellent game in the goal for the visiting team but allowed two goals including Matt Janke’s score in the shootout.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls and Yellowstone will face each other for the final time on Saturday, February 24th at 7:30PM from the Great Falls Ice Plex.