Houlihan and Vukasin team up in Americans 3-2 win over Bozeman

By Kevin Scott

Box Score Game Sheet League Scoreboard Americans Team Statistics

BOZEMAN, Mont., February 9, 2018 — The Great Falls Americans (26-10-2) have won all six games this season when they played the Bozeman Ice Dogs including three wins each in Haynes Pavilion and the Great Falls Ice Plex before tonight’s contest.

Michael Houlihan and Brandon Vukasin led the Great Falls Americans to a 3-2 narrow victory over the Bozeman Ice Dogs on Friday night in Bozeman, Montana. Houlihan added two goals while Vukasin assisted on both scoring drives for coach Jeff Heimel’s Americans team.

Both teams headed to the locker room after the first period trying to figure out how to score. The opening period provided 20 total shots and no goals.

Bozeman jumped ahead 2-0 during the first 15 minutes of the middle period. Gage Blatter and Jacob Boje gave the home team something to cheer about. Chad Stucker and Jacob Boje earned assists on Blatter’s goal while Beckett Patten and Cade Hanley gathered assists on the only power play score for the Ice Dogs. Michael Fary cut Bozeman’s lead in half (2-1) with his unassisted slapshot that sailed through the glove of Carver Thompson for the Americans first scoring drive with four minutes left in the period. Great Falls out-shot Bozeman 20-9.

Michael Houlihan, finished just shy of a hat-trick, scored two third period goals for the Americans including the first one 38 seconds into the final period of regulation.  His second scoring drive came midway through the stanza while Bozeman was down a man due to a penalty. Brandon Vukasin assisted on both scores and Payton McSharry also had one assist in the final goal for Great Falls. Great Falls consistently kept the puck down on the home team’s end and out-shot the Ice Dogs, 18-1.

Great Falls and Bozeman spent 16 minutes in the sin bin for their eight combined penalties. Each squad obtained one successful power play opportunity.

The visiting Americans out-played the Ice Dogs in every facet of the game including tripling the host team on shot attempts (52-16).

Drew Scites, who notched his 15th victory, secured 14 saves while allowing two first period goals. The loss went to Bozeman’s Carver Thompson. The goaltender from Billings, Montana added 49 saves in his 60 minutes of action.

NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls will spend the night in Bozeman, Montana for their eighth meeting. Great Falls will try to go 8-0 against the Bozeman Ice Dogs. Haynes Pavilion will once again host the Americans at 7:30PM.