By Kevin Scott
|Box Score||Game Sheet||League Scoreboard||Americans Team Statistics|
CODY, Wyo., February 12, 2022 — The #4 Great Falls Americans (20-16-3-2), playing in just their second game in the month of February, were looking to snap their two-game losing streak on Saturday evening in their meeting with the #7 Yellowstone (WY) Quake (12-26-2-0).
Great Falls has not registered any goals in their previous two setbacks. On January 29th, Helena scored three unanswered goals at the Helena Ice Arena to defeat the Americans in the last game for the Americans to close out the month of January. On February 11th, the Americans and Quake went the first two periods without scoring before Yellowstone added two successful scoring drives to defeat the Americans, 2-0. Yellowstone’s Gabe Coppo scored two goals and both assists went to Benjamin Angeli while netminder Edvin Falkenstrom went undefeated in the net by stopping all 71 shots (game story).
Great Falls is 1-3 so far against their Wyoming opponent including one loss and one win to open the 2021-22 season in September. Great Falls fell 5-3 on September 10th (game story) and needed an extra period to edge the Quake 4-3 in overtime on September 11th (game story).
Would Great Falls break their losing streak on Saturday night and pick up their 21st win?
The #7 Yellowstone (WY) Quake utilized the services of Gabe Coppo, Benjamin Angeli and Edvin Falkenstrom to deliver a come-from-behind 4-3 victory for the weekend sweep over the #4 Great Falls Americans during Saturday night’s junior ice hockey action at Riley Arena in Cody, Wyoming. Great Falls’ Garrett Weisenburger scored two of the three goals for the visiting team.
Both teams traded goals during the first two periods with each squad securing one each before the second intermission. Garrett Weisenburger scored the first of his two tallies during the first 5:48 of the contest. Micah Serino and Jackson Henningsgard, who represented the Great Falls Americans at the 2022 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament earlier this week, created the assists. Yellowstone standout Gabe Coppo evened the score for Yellowstone with 20 seconds remaining in the first stanza. Coppo’s 18th goal came with helpers by Cole Whitman and Benjamin Angeli. The Americans dominated the first twenty minutes by taking 20 of the 23 shots-on-goal.
Defensemen JJ Martin and Riley Opperude, who played in just their second game with Great Falls after signing with the team earlier this week, connected on a scoring drive to give the Americans the early advantage. While the Americans were on a power play, Riley Opperude and Tyler Sunagel delivered the puck to JJ Martin to secure the Americans second goal midway through the second. Five minutes later, the Quake answered back with a goal of their own. This time it was Benjamin Angeli for the score with an assist going to Jaxon Call and Gabe Coppo. The second period concluded with each team scoring two goals and Great Falls attacking the net for 23 shots and Yellowstone gathering nine.
As they did in the first two periods, the Americans scored first when Garrett Weisenburger’s shot sailed by Edvin Falkenstrom, the goalie for Yellowstone, for the 3-2 lead. Bryson Fletcher and AJ Benit earned their 12th and 21st assists, respectively as they capitalized on their second power play opportunity of the night. The Quake quickly responded less than two minutes later when Gabe Coppo put in the equalizer. Logan Brown and Gustav Ostman set up the first of two power play scores for the home team. The Quake coached by CJ Sweigart waited six minutes and then racked up the eventual game-winning tally with 6:16 on the clock. Benjamin Angeli added his second goal (third of the season) of the night with Gustav Ostman picking up his second assist (27th overall) and Tyler Hanson also supplying an assist. The Americans could not respond with another goal.
The Americans managed to avoid a shutout for the third consecutive game but scored three goals on 64 shots. Yellowstone amassed four goals by taking 23 shots for their third win in four games against the Americans.
Great Falls had two minor penalties each in the first and third periods to end their night with eight total minutes of penalty time. The Quake registered four minors and one major penalty that resulted in ten minutes in the sin bin. Great Falls and Yellowstone took advantage of two power play chances that turned into successful goals.
For the second straight night, Benjamin Angeli and Gabe Coppo were responsible for the Yellowstone victory. The pair contributed two goals and one assist. Garrett Weisenburger scored two goals and newcomer JJ Martin had the other (goal).
Edvin Falkenstrom, the first year Sweden player, won for the second straight night over Great Falls. He prevented 61 of the 64 shots from going in the net. Meanwhile, Zac Hattan got the start and lost for eighth time this season (4-6-2-0) for coach Greg Sears’ squad who is still searching for their 21st win of the season.
NOTES: Great Falls will look for redemption when both teams square off on the ice in Great Falls in the last week of the regular season on February 25-26.
FRONTIER DIVISION UPDATE: The #3 Bozeman Ice Dogs (21-15-3-1) and the #8 Sheridan (WY) Hawks (6-36-1-0) were off on Saturday but the #1 (Helena Bighorns) and the #2 (Gillette Wild) continued their winning ways by holding their opponents to two goals. Helena (37-3-2-0) took the short 60-mile trip to visit the #6 Butte Cobras (17-24-2-0) and won 5-2 (box score) and the Wild (37-4-2-0) utilized the home crowd to edge the #5 Badlands Sabres (17-23-2-0), 3-2 (box score).
NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will finish their ‘three road games in three days’ with a date with the Bozeman Ice Dogs in Bozeman, Montana on Sunday, February 13th with the puck set to drop at 5:15PM (MST). Fans can watch live on the NA3HL streaming service, HockeyTV. Great Falls is the lone team in the Frontier Division playing on Sunday night.