By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
MISSOULA, Mont., October 7, 2016 — The Great Falls Americans (5-1-1) faced a new and unfamiliar opponent tonight when they traveled to the Garden City to take on the newest member of the Frontier Division.
The Missoula Jr. Bruins (2-3-0-1), coached by Marcus Baxter, began their first season in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) a few weeks ago. They struggled to begin the season but pulled out two wins last weekend against the Helena Bighorns for their first two victories in program history. The Bruins are led in scoring by Payton McSharry and Josh Chamberlain with four goals apiece.
The Great Falls Americans started out with a 4-0 record before a pair of losses against the Yellowstone Quake last weekend. Returning forward Brendan Jester leads the team with six goals while teammates Danny O’Donnell and Sandis Mezharaups have found the back of the net five times. Matt Janke and Adam Vandenbos have contributed five assists.
Would the Americans find a way to get back to their winning ways against the Missoula NA3HL franchise?
The visiting Great Falls Americans needed just two scores to lift them to a 2-0 shutout victory over the Missoula Junior Bruins on Friday night at Missoula’s Glacier Ice Rink. There wasn’t much scoring in this defensive battle between these two NA3HL franchises.
No goals were scored during the first twenty minutes on the ice. Great Falls goaltender had six saves while Missoula’s net-minder Julius Huset stopped all seven shots.
Wisconsin forward Matt Janke chipped in the first of his two goals in the middle period for the Americans. The unassisted tally came with 3:25 left before the second intermission. Missoula out-shot Great Falls 15-10 during the second stanza but failed to get any successful scoring opportunities.
Janke gave the Americans a 2-0 cushion at the 14:49 mark of the final period of regulation. His sixth goal of the season came off the sticks of Tanner Congdon and Danny O’Donnell, who each earned their third assist in seven games. The American defense never allowed any points during the final five minutes of action.
Great Falls had four of the six total penalties on the night. The four penalties (3 minors and 1 major) accounted for 16 minutes in the penalty box. Missoula’s two infractions came in the third period.
Nick Nast had a perfect game as the goaltender for the Americans. He stopped all 30 shots including 15 in the second period. The California product now is 2-1 on the season and has 109 saves in three appearances. Julius Huset of Missoula allowed two goals in the last two periods and finished with 26.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will be in Bozeman, Montana to challenge the Ice Dogs on Saturday, October 8th at 7:30PM from Haynes Pavilion.