Three win weekend moves Americans into 1st place tie
January 1, 2019
Great Falls 10 @ Missoula 3 - Payton McSharry exploded for four goals and two assists to lead the Americans to a 10-3 romp past the Jr. Bruins on New Year's Eve. Ben Rinckey and Cody Dearing starred as well with two goals apiece, while Dylan and Jack Olson each found twine once as well for Great Falls. Bill Lucas, Trevor Prince and Misha Akatnov got the Bruins on the board. Viktor Wennberg took the win with 25 saves in the Americans' cage, outdueling a combined 26 stops from Missoula's Seth Daniel and Evan Williams.
Breezy Point 2 @ New Ulm 1 - A tense 1-1 affair went down to the final five minutes of play, where Garrett Freeman netted the deciding tally for Breezy Point to help them top the Steel 2-1 on the road. Nick Eddens of the North Stars and Michael Savelkoul of New Ulm traded goals late in the first period, setting up 40 minutes of scoreless hockey before Freeman's winner. Jacob MacLennan was nearly perfect for Breezy Point, facing down 37 of 38 shots between the pipes, while Henry Baribeau put forth his own strong effort with 22 saves for New Ulm.
Granite City 7 @ Alexandria 1 - Seven different skaters found the scoresheet and David Mulligan stopped 34 of 35 shots as the Lumberjacks routed the Blizzard 7-1 on the road on Monday. Zack DeBoom, Tom Nagle, Bailey Sommers, Grant Troumbly, Cooper Smith, Hunter Schwehr and Sam Ohmes provided the offense for Granite City, while Tucker Kruse scored Alexandria's lone goal. Kyle Hayden and Ville Hyttinen combined for 25 saves in the Blizzard net.
Rochester 3 @ Willmar 1 - The Grizzlies jumped out to a 3-0 advantage through 40 minutes and held off a late potential comeback bid from Willmar to top the Warhawks 3-1 on Monday. Matthew DeRosa, Peyton Hart and Vladislav Sorokin netted to build the Rochester lead before Jacob May scored for Willmar to break Liam Kelly's shutout bid. Kelly finished with 32 saves on the night, while Nelson Schiiler capped his evening with 30 stops in the Warhawks' cage.
Helena 3 @ Butte 0 - Garret Dryden put forth a titanic, 39-save performance for the Bighorns to notch his first shutout of the season and help Helena top Butte 3-0. Elliot Plourde, Hunter Pierce and Ty Niskanen scored for the Bighorns, the only three skaters to beat impressive Cobras netminder Karl Zodda on 56 shots.
Bozeman 4 @ Yellowstone 2 - Gabe Huntley led the way with a goal and an assist on the night as Mikael Levokari turned aside 24 shots to backstop the Icedogs to a 4-2 win over the Quake to round out 2018. Adam Franklin, Brock Finn and Hayden Groth also found twine for Bozeman, edging out Yellowstone goals by Jack Harris and Dylan Rumpke. Michael Allman starred for the Quake with 48 saves in goal.