By Kevin Scott
BLAINE, Minn., December 7, 2014 — The Great Falls Americans have played at a high level so far this season as they headed to the 2014 NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota for the three-day tournament.
Great Falls was the visiting team for Sunday’s contest against the Minnesota Flying Aces. They will serve as the home team for Monday’s game (vs. St. Louis Jr. Blues) and for Tuesday’s contest (vs. Point Mallard Ducks).
The Minnesota franchise plays in the Western Division of the NA3HL and is ranked at the bottom of the standings with a 3-20-1 record while the Americans remain on top of the Frontier Division with a 19-2 mark.
Great Falls pulled away with two goals in the third period to down the Minnesota Flying Aces 3-1 on the first day of the prestigious tournament at the Schwan Super Rink on Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota scored the only points in the first period. Jake Mullendore got the Flying Aces on the scoreboard with 9:50 remaining with help from teammate AJ Gullickson. Each NA3HL franchise had eight shots on goal and they went 0-for-2 on power play opportunities after twenty minutes of ice time.
Cody Page scored for the Americans to tie the contest at 1-1 with six minutes left in the middle period while Miles Giorgione and Michael Kliment each tacked on an assist in the only successful power play score before the second intermission for either team.
Lucas Lomax and Reed Link each picked up a goal in the last period for coach Jeff Heimel’s Americans team. Wade Wylie and Lucas Stover pass to Lucas Lomax put the Americans on top for the first time early in the third period. Reed Link made sure the Americans came away with their 19th win as he capped off the period with a goal with 14 seconds remaining.
The Great Falls franchise went 2-for-4 on power play attempts thanks to goals scored by Cody Page and Lucas Lomax. Minnesota failed to convert any scoring plays during their seven power plays.
With the exception of a first period tally by Minnesota, Great Falls goaltender Lauren Massie managed to stop the offensive attack by the Flying Aces. He finished with 20 saves for the afternoon. Minnesota’s Kevin O’Shea stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced.
FUN FACTS: The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Showcase features all 31 teams playing in the three-day tournament and features many college and junior scouts and coaches in attendance to see the talent that the league has to offer. To learn more about the Showcase, you can view all of the information by clicking here.
The Schwan Super Rink is the world’s largest ice arena and is home to the United States Olympic Team. The 300,000 square foot facility accommodates eight sheets of ice in the state-of-the-art complex. To read more about the arena, please click here.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will face the St. Louis Jr. Blues at 10:30AM (MST) in Day two of the three day NA3HL Showcase Hockey Tournament in Blaine, Minnesota on Monday, December 8, 2014.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||Final|
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Jake Mullendore (AJ Gullickson), 11:10.
Second Period –2, Great Falls, Cody Page (power play) (Miles Giorgione, Michael Kliment), 13:55.
Third Period – 3, Great Falls, Lucas Lomax (power play) (Wade Wylie, Lucas Stover), 16:05. 4, Great Falls, Reed Link (unassisted), 19:46.
Shots on Goal – Great Falls 24, Minnesota 21.
Power-play Opportunities – Great Falls 2-for-4, Minnesota 0-for-7.
Attendance – Not Announced
Additional Media Coverage: December 8, 2014: Great Falls Tribune: Americans skate to win in Showcase