Great Falls tops Bozeman 5-3 in their first matchup of the season

By Kevin Scott

Box Score Game Sheet League Scoreboard Americans Team Statistics

BOZEMAN, Mont., October 11, 2018 — The Great Falls Americans (9-1-0-0) and the Bozeman Ice Dogs (4-4-0-0) met on the ice for the first time tonight during the 2018-19 season at Bozeman’s Haynes Pavilion.

Five different Great Falls Americans took advantage of successful scoring opportunities to top the Bozeman Ice Dogs, 5-3 during Thursday night action in Bozeman.

The Ice Dogs led for the first and only time of the game when Nash Pine and Gage Blatter gathered assists on one of Devin Hofmann’s two goals. Bozeman took the early lead nine minutes into the first period. Great Falls would find the back of the net with four minutes left before the first intermission as Jens Juliussen lit up the lamp during the Americans power play. Payton McSharry and Matt Janke set up the scoring play while Bozeman was down a man. Great Falls and Bozeman combined for 29 shots after the first twenty minutes of action.

The visiting Americans squad pulled away during the middle period. Payton McSharry and Lindros Beard each added a goal during the opening five minutes. Garrett Peters and Jens Juliussen earned the assists on the McSharry score while Ben Rinckey and Matt Janke assisted on Lindros Beard’s score. The host team cut into the Americans lead (3-2) 24 seconds after Great Falls racked up their third goal. Hazen McKay scored his 13th goal of the season with help from Connor Fuchs and Brady Kellerman. Alexi Suchomlin tacked on another goal for the visiting squad with 60 second left in the period as Great Falls maintained a two-goal advantage after the first two periods. Braxton Lorenz and Levi Mese provided the assists for Great Falls’ second power play score. Great Falls attempted 25 second period shots for a total of 40 before the second intermission. Bozeman had 10 in the period and 24 after the second stanza.

The final period saw each team score once. Devin Hofmann secured his second goal of the night and seventh overall while the Americans were in the penalty with 12:36 on the clock to pull Bozeman to within one goal (4-3). Great Falls’ defense held up the rest of the way until Matt Janke put the biscuit in the basket for the empty net score with under a minute remaining to ensure the Americans would get their ninth victory.

Great Falls tallied at least 15 shots in each period for a total of 56 including a 25-shot effort in the second period. Bozeman accumulated 39 shots.

Both NA3HL squads committed six penalties accounting for 12 minutes in the penalty box.

Drew Scites improved to 5-1 in the net for the second place Americans led by coach Greg Sears. The Minnesota native and last season’s NA3HL Goaltender of the Year ended with 36 saves. AJ Ruskowski, who lost for the third time in six appearances, recorded 51 saves.

NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans continue their three-game road trip with a pair of games in Gillette, Wyoming against the Wild on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13th with the game slated to start at 7:05PM each night from the Spirit Hall Ice Arena.

Additional Media Coverage: October 11, 2018: Great Falls Tribune: Americans score road win against Ice Dogs