By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
GREAT FALLS, Mont., January 27, 2018 — For the second consecutive night, the Great Falls Americans (24-9-2), one of the top teams in the NA3HL, played the Bozeman Ice Dogs in Great Falls.
Great Falls utilized the strong offensive attack led by forward Kyler Mack, who scored two goals, to top the Bozeman Ice Dogs 4-1 as over 1,010 spectators packed the Great Falls Ice Plex to see these two squads battle on Saturday evening.
Kyler Mack, whose hometown is listed as Anchorage, Alaska, started the first period with consecutive goals including one on a power play. No assists were award on his first goal that came 4:07 into the stanza. Matt Janke and Adam Vandenbos, who have over 20 assists apiece this season, helped set up the second scoring drive with 6:28 remaining before the first intermission. Michael Houlihan followed Mack’s second goal with a goal of his own 12 seconds later to give the Americans fans something more to cheer about. Great Falls kept the away from Bozeman’s offense as they took 22 shots and limited the Ice Dogs to five.
Weston Goodman converted his ninth goal of the season 4:38 into the middle period to lift Great Falls’ lead to 4-0. The unassisted tally was the only goal scored during the final 15 minutes of action before the last intermission. Great Falls’ offense kept attempting shots towards Bozeman netminder Tait Carlson throughout the evening with an additional 21 after the opening period. Bozeman took seven.
Bozeman’s Austin Charnholm interrupted the Americans shut out by registering his team’s first goal with under 13 minutes remaining. His tenth goal was assisted by defensemen Beckett Patten and Cade Hanley. The power play goal by the Ice Dogs proved to be the only goal scored by either team in the final period.
Coach Jeff Heimel’s Americans team dominated in the shots-on-goal category as the home team finished with 50 after seizing 22 in the first period. The visiting team added four shots in the final stanza to end their night with 16.
Great Falls stayed out of the penalty box for most of the game. The two minor penalties happened in the first and third periods. The Ice Dogs committed three of their four infractions during the second period.
Goaltender Bryan Sharp played the entire game for Great Falls and remained perfect until the third period when Bozeman allowed the puck to go by him for their only score of the night. He had 15 saves. Tait Carlson let the Americans score three times in the first and one in the second period to finish with 46 saves in a losing effort for coach Mark Vichorek’s squad.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls begins their eight-game February slate on the road with a pair of contests against the top team in the Frontier Division, the Yellowstone Quake. The weekend games (Feb. 2-3) begin at 7:30PM on Friday and Saturday evening from the Riley Arena.