NA3HL Preseason: Great Falls hangs on to defeat Helena 3-1

By Kevin Scott

GREAT FALLS, Mont., September 12, 2014 — The Great Falls Americans opened up their 2014-15 season as a new member of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) with an exhibition game against the Helena Bighorns on Friday night in Great Falls. Great Falls picked up a 3-1 victory over rival Helena as three different players added goals.

Great Falls got on the scoreboard toward the end of the first period as Michal Kliment and Austin Krantz got the puck to Marvin Simmons for the first score of the game with 1:22 remaining in the first exhibition game of the season for both squads. The Americans recorded 15 of the 22 shots on goal after twenty minutes of action.

Helena bounced back and found the back of the net in the 13th minute of the middle period. Kendall Bolen-Porter got the puck past Great Falls goalie Evan Hauser for the Bighorns first points of the NA3HL contest. The Bighorns made Americans goalie Hauser work between the pipes as they had 16 shots on goal in the period.

The Americans wasted little time in taking the lead in the final period as Johnathan Carpenter was able to score in the first two and a half minutes. Newcomer Nathan Zorbas and returner Connor Barta were credited with the assists on the play for coach Jeff Heimel’s squad. Lucas Lomax added the final goal for Great Falls with just over two minutes left on a Robert Kalata pass to ensure that the Americans would get the victory.

The Americans and Bighorns combined for 72 shots on goal with Great Falls finishing their first exhibition contest with 29 of them. Great Falls goalie Evan Hauser swatted away 33 of Helena’s shots on offense.

No power-play opportunities or attendance were announced for this exhibition contest.

NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will wrap up their exhibition season on the road in Helena on Saturday, September 13, 2014 before they open up their first season in the North American 3 Hockey League against the Glacier Nationals, who moved in the off-season from Whitefish, MT to Havre, MT. The contest starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Havre Ice Dome.

Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Final
Great Falls 1 0 2 3
Helena 0 1 0 1


First Period 1, Great Falls, Marvin Simmons (power play) (Michal Kliment, Austin Krantz), 17:48.

Second Period – 2, Helena, Kendall Bolen-Porter (Jamison Westaby), 13:57.

Third Period – 3, Great Falls, Johnathan Carpenter (Nathan Zorbas, Connor Barta), 2:30. 4, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (Robert Kalata), 17:49.

Shots on Goal – Great Falls 39, Helena 33.

Power-play Opportunities – Not Announced

Attendance – Not Announced

Box Score: Not Announced