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3View: Great Falls Americans

August 26, 2018
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2018-19 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2018-19 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2017-18 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished.  Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
 
Great Falls Americans
2017-18 Record: 34-11-2, 70 pts. (2nd in the Frontier Division)
2018 Playoffs: Lost to the Helena Bighorns in the Frontier Division Semi-Finals: 2 games to 0
Head Coach: Greg Sears
2018-19 Division: Frontier
 
The Great Falls Americans played their first season in the NA3HL back in 2014-2015. Coached by Greg Sears, the Americans are located in Great Falls, Montana. Coming over from the American West Hockey League, the Americans have found a nice home here in NA3HL.
 
After a number of very successful seasons for the Great Falls Americans, previous head coach Jeff Heimel accepted a job at the University of Providence. The Americans will now turn to Greg Sears to take over the reins. Sears brings in over 11 years of coaching experience to the program and says the move couldn’t have been any easier.  
 
“The transition from Jeff Heimels time here has been very smooth, and he has been very helpful,” Sears said.
 
With Sears taking over Head Coach, the mindset shifted quickly over to building a team for the 2018-2019 season. Coach Sears wasted no time getting to work. 
 
“The main point of emphasis has been trying to retain as many veteran players as possible,” Sears said. “We also wanted to add some new talent to continue to be successful here in Great Falls. “
 
Coach Sears understands he is coming into a program that expects to excellence, and nothing less. Great Falls has been a powerhouse for many years, and Sears knows that can’t stop now.
 
“This is a club that has won 30 or more games five years in a row,” Sears said. “That includes two division championships and a trip to the Fraser Cup semi-finals.”
 
The Americans were upset in the first round of playoffs by the Helena Bighorns a season ago. 
 
While the goal for every coach going into a new season is to win as many games as possible, Coach Sears says advancing and developing his players to the next level is just as important, and he will do everything he can to make that happen. 
 
“The goal is to get these young men to college, and we do everything we can to get these guys noticed,” Sears said. “Establishing relationships with colleges across the country is the first step, and then helping our athletes meet the requirements to play hockey at the NCAA or ACHA level.”
 
One of the best ways for NA3HL players to showcase themselves and potentially get to the next level is through a number of events the league puts on from year to year. The Showcase, Top Prospects, and Fraser Cup are some of the best events in junior hockey according to Sears.
 
“I think all three are the best that Tier 3 Junior hockey has to offer,” Sears said. “The atmosphere at these events is incredible and a ton of scouts are at these events. They really give the kids a good number of options for their future.”
 
The Americans have been very consistent over the past couple years, making the playoffs in each of the past four seasons. As the 2018-2019 season approaches, they will look to claim their spot as the top dog in the very competitive Frontier Division.
 
Next up in the 3View series: Helena Bighorns
 
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