By Kevin Scott
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CODY, Wyo., January 23, 2016 — The top-ranked Great Falls Americans (25-9-2) have had a tough time overcoming the third place Yellowstone Quake (22-7-3) this season.
On Friday night in Wyoming, the Yellowstone Quake put a stop to the Americans five game winning streak where they defeated the Montana team, 5-3. Prior to Friday, Great Falls’ last loss was to the Gillette Wild (4-2) on January 2nd.
The Great Falls Americans suffered their first shutout loss of the season when the Yellowstone Quake blanked the Montana team 3-0 on Saturday night on the final night of their two-game series in Cody, Wyoming.
The Americans haven’t suffered back-to-back losses since the NA3EHL East team and the Toledo (OH) Cherokee defeated them in overtime by identical scores of 3-2 at the NA3HL Showcase Tournament in December.
Tony Dahlberg and Cosimo Yapello each scored for Yellowstone during the first period. Nicholas Elliot and Reed Kelly set up Dahlberg’s score while Jake Dickison and Tony Dahlberg were credited with the assists on Yapello’s scoring drive.
Since neither team scored in the second period, the Yellowstone Quake held onto a 2-0 advantage going into the final period of action. Despite trailing by two goals, Great Falls still had more shot attempts than Wyoming had (25-18).
Jake Dickison added one goal in the third period to ensure the home team would come away with a victory. Max Doner and Will Landverk each garnered an assist on the third tally.
Both teams never allowed their opponent to score on any of their power play chances and combined they went 0-for-6.
Despite not getting the puck in the net, Great Falls racked up 35 shots-on-goal against the Yellowstone defense while holding the Quake to 29.
The contest saw eight total penalties resulting in16 minutes of penalty time. Great Falls produce one minor penalty in each period.
Garret Matz, the starting goaltender for the Quake, played in his first game as a member of the Wyoming team after a trade this week sent him over from the NA3HL’s LaCrosse (Wisconsin) Freeze. The Minnesota native stopped all 35 shots that the Americans offense sent his way. Lauren Massie made 26 saves for Great Falls on 29 shots.
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will challenge the Bozeman Ice Dogs in a pair of games on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 29th and 30th). Great Falls travels to Bozeman on Friday night and then host the Ice Dogs the following night. Both games are slated to start at 7:30PM.