Third period goals help Yellowstone get by the Americans
By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., October 1, 2016 — The Great Falls Americans (4-1-1) and the Yellowstone Quake (4-0) sure know how to keep the suspense going at the ice rink.
On Friday night, the host team led 2-1 going into the final twenty minutes of action before the Yellowstone Quake offense responded. Yellowstone scored two unanswered goals including one with under two minutes to go in regulation for the lead. The Americans tied it up with a half minute remaining to send it to overtime. Yellowstone provided the game-winning tally three minutes into the overtime for the 4-3 win.
What would their second meeting bring?
Great Falls held a one goal advantage (2-1) heading into the third period but allowed four unanswered scoring opportunities by the Yellowstone Quake in the final four minutes of play as they suffered a 5-2 setback on Saturday evening at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
Fans were able to secure a FREE 4-pack of tickets for tonight’s game compliments of tonight’s sponsor, the Holiday Village Mall.
Great Falls and Yellowstone added one goal apiece in the opening period. The Quake scored first with Pablo Pantoia passing the puck to defenseman Matt Runyon with 14 minutes to go. It was a defensive battle until the final 2:51 when the Americans tied up the contest. Brendan Jester tallied his fourth assist of the season when Tanner Congdon added the first score for the host team. The opening twenty minutes featured 23 shots-on-goal and two minor penalties.
The Americans took the lead 94 seconds into the second period. Wisconsin native Matt Janke got the puck between the pipes that sailed by Yellowstone goaltender Nick Ottenbacker to give the home team a 2-1 advantage. The unassisted scoring opportunity was Janke’s fourth goal in six games and his first of the evening. The Americans prevented the visiting team from finding the back of the net for the final 18 minutes of the second stanza.
The Wyoming squad did not score until the final four minutes of regulation when Reed Kelly made the score 2-2. Max Doner and Jesse Lawman assisted on the scoring drive. Matt Runyon secured the go-ahead unassisted score with 3:23 remaining as the Quake regained the lead. Yellowstone would add two more goals before the end of the period. Reed Kelly netted his second goal while Hunter Ruschmeyer chipped in his first of the game. Anders Bergh and Cosimo Yapello registered the assists on the Kelly and Ruschmeyer goals, respectively.
Reed Kelly’s first goal in the third period for Yellowstone was the only successful score via a power play for either team.
The Quake out-shot the Americans 41-27 with 29 of those shots coming in the final two periods.
Both teams had six infractions accounting for 58 total penalty minutes.
Matt Runyon and Reed Kelly each ended their night with two goals apiece. Great Falls received scores from Tanner Congdon and Matt Janke.
Nick Ottenbacker, who achieved his second straight win behind the net, had 25 saves in the win for the Cody, Wyoming based team. Meanwhile, Michael Hughes had a record of 2-1 and has 77 saves including 36 for tonight’s NA3HL contest.
NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will entertain the Missoula Jr. Bruins on Friday, October 7th at the Great Falls ice Plex. This will be the first matchup against the newest NA3HL member of the Frontier Division. The following night (October 8th) they will be in Bozeman, Montana to challenge the Ice Dogs. Both games begin at 7:30PM (MST).