Great Falls prevents Glacier from scoring in 5-0 victory
By Kevin Scott
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HAVRE, Mont., December 2, 2016 — The Glacier Nationals (1-21-1) have been an easy opponent for members of the seven other Frontier Division squads this season.
The Great Falls Americans (15-3-1-2) have earned four shutout victories over the Havre-based team including a 14-0 win on Thursday evening in Great Falls entering tonight’s game. Great Falls racked up 46 goals against them in four previous meetings.
The Great Falls Americans picked up their fifteenth win of the season and continued to keep the Glacier Nationals from scoring in a 5-0 victory on Friday night at the Havre Ice Dome. Sandis Mezharaups scored three points (1 goal and 2 assists) for the team’s sixth road victory.
After scoring seven goals the previous night against the Nationals, Great Falls was limited to one goal in the first period via the Latvia connection of Sandis Mezharaups and Normunds Vibans. Mezharaups chipped in his 16th goal of the season at the midway point of the period off the pass from Normunds Vibans. Great Falls scored on four of the 19 shot attempts while Glacier was unsuccessful on their eight shots-on-goal.
Michael Fary, a newcomer to the Americans playing in his first game with Great Falls, scored his first goal with help from Normunds Vibans, who gathered his second assist of the night. Fary, the 6’4” forward from Anaheim, California found the back of the net 5:42 in the second period to give the Americans a 2-0 lead. Malachi Bushey then scored the second of three second period goals by the Americans with 7:04 on the clock. His ninth goal of the season came with assistance from Mezharaups and Quinn Stuebner. Tanner Congdon increased the lead for the Americans (4-0) when his unassisted tally came with eight seconds left in the middle period. During the first forty minutes of action, the visiting team out-shot the Nationals 42-12.
Only one scoring opportunity was successful in the final period. Matt Janke got the puck through Glacier goaltender Brendan Schultz for the Americans fifth goal. Quinn Stuebner and Sandis Mezharaups each assisted for the second time of the night on the short-handed score.
Neither squad came away with points during the ten power plays.
Great Falls, the second-place team in the Frontier Division, attempted 19 shots during the first and third periods and finished the contest with 61. The Nationals took eight of their 15 total shots during the opening period.
Mezharaups was the team leader for the Americans with one goal and two assists. Quinn Stuebner and Normunds Vibans each dished out two assists to help the Americans to their sixth straight win.
Great Falls committed six of the nine total penalties resulting in 20 minutes of penalty time.
Kyler Ayers, the game-winning goaltender from Boise, Idaho, stopped all 15 shots by the Glacier offense. Despite allowing five goals, Glacier netminder Brendan Schultz had 56 saves.
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will play the Helena Bighorns in a pair of games on December 9-10th. Great Falls will be on the road in Helena, MT on Friday, December 9th to face the Bighorns at 7:05PM and then on Saturday, December 10th, the teams meet in Great Falls at 7:30PM.