Page Hat Trick Leads Ams to Big Win - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Page Hat Trick Leads Ams to Big Win

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The Great Falls Americans took a commanding lead over the Glacier Nationals by scoring five goals in the final period on Thursday night to pick up a 7-1 victory at the Great Falls Ice Plex. Cody Page scored three of the Americans final five goals for a hat trick.

The Great Falls Americans offense was kept out of the net during the entire night by the top-ranked Helena Bighorns as the host team downed Great Falls 6-0 in the regular season road finale for the Americans on Wednesday night at the Helena Ice Arena. The Americans could not stop the Bighorns duo of Nick Okada (who finished with a hat trick) and Sam Bratten as they combined for the first five goals in the contest.

The Americans and Nationals skated to a tie with each team getting points on the scoreboard after the first twenty minutes of action. Brady Christiaens connected on his 14th goal of the season with 11:28 on the clock. Aaron McInnis and Dylan tacked on the assists for the home team. Great Falls would maintain their one goal lead until Jackson Schroeder scored from a pass by Tyler Latimer tied the contest before the first intermission. Glacier goaltender Pierre Gustafsson faced 22 shot attempts by the Americans offense while Evan Hauser swatted away eight.

Both defenses came ready to play in the second period as it looked like neither team was going to score any points until Steven Butts found an open Dylan Garton with 23 seconds remaining.

In the final period, Great Falls started firing on all cylinders and scored five goals including a hat trick by Cody Page. Page opened up the period by getting two goals in the first three minutes with help from three different teammates including Lucas Stover, Aaron McInnis and Great Falls native Brady Christiaens assisted on both scoring drives for coach Jeff Heimel's team. Arizona native Austin Nottke found the back of the net midway through the final period as Austin Krantz and Paul Sartuche added the assists. Cody Page registered his third goal (hat trick) with 1:14 left and then Steven Butts scored an unassisted goal 11 seconds later to give the Americans their 35th victory of the season with one more regular season game left on the schedule.

The offense for the Americans made sure that the Glacier goalie (Pierre Gustafsson) was kept busy as they forced 52 shots with seven unsuccessful attempts. Meanwhile, Evan Hauser stopped 12 of the 13 attempts by Glacier.

Brady Christiaens first period goal and the scoring opportunity in the third period by Cody Page were the only successful power plays that the Americans took advantage of throughout the night. Penalties played a vital role for both teams but especially for the Nationals who received 53 minutes of penalties on 16 infractions. Great Falls finished the night with 10 infraction for 23 minutes.

Great Falls opened the 2013-14 season with Bozeman and they will finish the season with them on Friday, March 7th beginning at 7:30 p.m. as the Americans celebrate Billet Family Appreciation Night.at the Great Falls Ice Plex.

NEXT CONTEST: The Americans will face the Bozeman Ice Dogs on Friday, March 7, 2014 in their regular season finale at the Great Falls Ice Plex with the action beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Americans start their playoff run on Tuesday, March 11th at Gillette, Wyoming.

2014 AWHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: Best of Five

Tuesday, March 11th: Game 1: Great Falls @ Gillette Wild, 7:30 p.m., Gillette, WY

Wednesday, March 12th: Game 2: Great Falls @ Gillette Wild, 7:30 p.m., Gillette, WY

Friday, March 14th: Game 3: Gillette Wild @ Great Falls, 7:00 p.m., Great Falls Ice Plex, Great Falls, MT

Saturday, March 15th: Game 4: Gillette Wild @ Great Falls, 7:00 p.m., Great Falls Ice Plex, Great Falls, MT (if necessary)

Sunday, March 16th: Game 5: Gillette Wild @ Great Falls, Time TBA, Great Falls Ice Plex, Great Falls, MT (if necessary)

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