Photo Above By Laura Richesin
By Kevin Scott
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GILLETTE, Wyo., October 12, 2018 — The Great Falls Americans (10-1-0-0) ran their season record against the Gillette Wild to 2-0 after posting two wins at home last weekend.
After a 5-3 road win on Thursday night against the Bozeman Ice Dogs, Great Falls made the trek to Gillette, Wyoming for a date with the Wild. Great Falls had an easy time finding the back of the net as they outscored Gillette, 15-4 in Great Falls on October 5th and 6th.
Forward Alexi Suchomlin and goaltender Viktor Wennberg star in the Americans dominating 7-2 win over the Gillette Wild in Wyoming on Friday evening at the Spirit Hall Ice Arena. Suchomlin had two of the four second period goals while Wennberg swatted away 34 of the 36 shots attempted by the Wild offense.
The Americans secured three goals during the first 18 minutes of the opening stanza before the host team lit up the lamp. Ben Rinckey, Payton McSharry, and Matt Janke each contributed successful scoring drives. Nate Simpson and Lindros Beard assisted on the power play score by Rinckey. Jens Juliussen and Matt Janke helped McSharry get the puck in the net while Lindros Beard, who collected his second of three assists, and Ben Rinckey tallied assists on the Janke goal. Ethan Becker’s third goal of the season for the Wild came with 1:41 remaining before intermission. Despite trailing 3-1, the Wild took four more shots than the Americans (15-11).
The Americans offense followed the first period by adding four more goals. Alexi Suchomlin, the 6’1” forward from Moscow, Russia, registered the first two scores of the middle period to give visiting squad a 5-1 advantage. After Jens Juliussen received his ninth goal in 11 contests, Jack Olson netted his tenth goal with one second to go. Seven Great Falls players earned assists including Nick Ramstad, Trent Cowden, Lindros Beard, Matt Janke, Payton McSharry, Ben Rinckey, and Luke Richesin finished with two in the period. Great Falls finished with 18 shots and limited Gillette to 12. Gillette netminder Aaron LaChance got the start but Shawn Phillips replaced the ineffective goalie late in the period.
The final period saw just one score by home team. Nolan Conrad scored his first goal as a member of the Wild two minutes into the third while the Americans were in the penalty. Gillette natives George Stilson and Austin Newson tacked on the assists.
In addition to Alexi Suchomlin’s two goals, Great Falls grabbed their fifth road win of the season with help from Ben Rinckey and Matt Janke, who scored once and assisted twice.
The Wild edged the Americans 36-35 in the final shots-on-goal stat line as over 400 fans saw the home team fall for the seventh time (2-5-1-1 record).
The two NA3HL squads who compete in the Frontier Division saw lots of time in the penalty box. There were 19 total infractions that resulted in 80 minutes of penalty time. Each team provided two goals apiece on the power play.
Viktor Wennberg made 34 saves for a season total of 101 saves and four wins in four appearances for Great Falls. Aaron LaChance picked up the loss after playing just 35 minutes. Backup Shane Phillips accounted for 16 of the 28 saves for the Wild.
NEXT CONTEST: Great Falls tries to go 4-0 against the Wild when they face off once more before they meet again in November on Saturday evening (October 13th). Game time is set for 7:05PM.