Mese’s overtime goal powers Great Falls to victory
By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., January 30, 2014 — Zachary Mese scored the game-winning goal in overtime as Great Falls edged the Gillette Wild 3-2 on a cold and snowy Thursday night at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
Both teams could not find the back of the net during the first twenty minutes of action despite a combined 19 shots on goal.
It took nearly six minutes of the second period before Gillette’s Bryce Mitzel shot the puck past Americans goaltender Erik Powell for the early 1-0 lead. Great Falls rallied to tie the AWHL contest up with 8:21 on the clock as Johnathan Carpenter secured his sixth goal of the season with Erik Gatson and Steven Butts adding the assists on the play. This was Butts first game as a Great Falls American after being traded for Aaron McInnis on Wednesday from the North American Hockey League. The Americans scored one more time before the end of the second period with a Max Kaercher goal from the sticks of Dylan Garton and Lucas Lomax.
Andrii Istominov scored the only points in the third period for Gillette and helped send the game into overtime. Tyler Reble and Dalton McCann earned the assists. Both teams each had nine shots on goal in the period.
Zachary Mese helped the Americans pick up their 28th win of the season with his goal from Great Falls native Brady Christiaens at the 2:10 mark of overtime.
Both teams combined for 0-4 on power play opportunities. The Americans offense out-shot Gillette 38-26 including 13 in the second period.
Erik Powell played the entire game for the Americans and recorded 24 saves in the win. Meanwhile, Sean Kelley stopped 35 of the 38 total shots he faced from Great Falls.
Great Falls improves to 28-7-2 while Gillette goes to 21-14-3.
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will remain at home for the final game in January as they play the second game in as many nights against the Gillette Wild. This will be the final time these two teams face each other in the regular season. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||1st OT||Final|
First Period – NO SCORING
Second Period – 1, Gillette, Bryce Mitzel (Jonathan Kasdorf), 5:50. 2, Great Falls, Johnathan Carpenter (Steven Butts, Erik Gatson), 11:39. 3, Great Falls, Max Kaercher (Dylan Garton, Lucas Lomax), 17:25.
Third Period – 4, Gillette, Andrii Istominov (Tyler Reble, Dalton McCann), 11:56.
First Overtime — 5, Great Falls, Zachary Mese (Brady Christiaens), 2:50.
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 38, Gillette 26.
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 0-for-1, Gillette 0-for-3.
Attendance – 301