By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
GILLETTE, Wyo., January 20, 2018 — After a wild finish with the Gillette Wild last night, in which the Great Falls Americans (22-9-2) edged the home team 2-1 in a game that featured a shootout.
Great Falls, under the direction of head coach Jeff Heimel playing in his final contest as the head coach of the Great Falls Americans before joining the college ranks at the University of Providence (MT), was looking for their third straight win in two weeks.
Payton McSharry scored two goals and goaltender Drew Scites stopped 33 shots against the Gillette Wild on Saturday as Great Falls scored three goals in the middle period to secure a 5-1 win.
A scoreless tie was the result of the opening period with Great Falls accumulating 17 of the 29 shots.
The 543 home fans for Gillette saw their team rack up the first goal of the game early in the middle period. Jack Oberg scored on the setup play by Brooks Mitzel and Derek Scoggins at the 16:19 mark. The next two minutes saw Great Falls take a 2-1 lead thanks to goals made by Payton McSharry and Michael Fary. Kody Thomas and Weston Goodman gathered up assists on McSharry’s game-tying score while Michael Houlihan and Tanner Rath provided the assistance on Fary’s score. As the remaining minutes ticked off the clock, Payton McSharry lit up the lamp for his 18th overall score and second of the period when Kyler Mack and Matt Janke grabbed one assist apiece to increase the lead for the visiting team to 3-1.
The scoring in the final stanza remained the same until the final 64 seconds as Cody Dearing and Matt Janke each got the puck between the pipes. Janke’s score happened while Gillette was down a man due to a penalty. The four assists on the two scoring drives went to Ben Rinckey, Jens Juliussen, Kyler Mack and Payton McSharry.
Great Falls generated over ten shots in each period for a total of 40. Gillette had a game-high 15 shots in the middle period to finish with 34.
Each team committed seven infractions for 14 minutes of penalty time.
In their final meeting, Drew Scites (Great Falls) and Cody Grogan (Gillette) each earned over 30 saves but Scites’ team finished the weekend with two straight wins.
NEXT CONTEST: As the final seven weeks of the 2017-18 NA3HL season winds downs, Great Falls plays host to the Bozeman Ice Dogs starting at 7:30PM each night on Friday and Saturday (January 26-27).