The Great Falls Americans relied on the scoring touch of Arseny Ivanov, who netted two goals, to beat the Helena Bighorns, 5-2.
Ivanov\’s tallies came at 55 seconds into the first period to make the score 1-0 Great Falls and 6:42 into the third to make the score 4-2 Great Falls.
After the loss made the series score 1-0 in the best of three series, Helena faces elimination next time out.
Great Falls\’ penalty kill excelled, as the Americans gave up zero goals despite allowing six power plays.
Great Falls stifled the Bighorns\’ power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man. The Americans kept Helena\’s goalie busy throughout the game, and Grant Martens made 36 saves on 41 shots. Great Falls\’ defensemen played an important role in the offense, chipping in three goals.
Great Falls also got points from Lucas Lomax, who also racked up one goal and one assist and Josh Larson, who also registered one goal and two assists to lead the team in points. Great Falls also got a goal from Tanner Dodd as well. More assists for Great Falls came via Robert Kalata, Dylan Garton, Hunter Garris, Cody Page, Lucas Stover, and Austin Krantz, who each chipped in one.
The Bighorns forced the Americans goalie Jordan Moran to work between the pipes, taking 41 shots.
Helena was helped by Brian Skillicorn, who finished with one goal. Skillicorn scored 19:24 into the first period to make the score 2-1 Helena. Cody Vanthournout also scored for Helena. In addition, Helena received assists from Brandt Miller and Johnny Bonta, who contributed one each.
Jordan Moran made 39 saves for Great Falls on 41 shots. The Americans incurred 14 minutes in penalty time with seven minors. The Bighorns incurred 14 minutes in penalty time with seven minors.