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Americans win game one at NA3HL Silver Cup - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Americans win game one at NA3HL Silver Cup

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The #5 Great Falls Americans (39-11-2) won their fifth straight playoff game by escaping with a 2-1 win over #4 Point Mallard (Alabama) Ducks during the first day of competition at the 2016 NA3HL Silver Cup Championship Hockey Tournament in Illinois.

Forward Wade Wylie dished out his 16th assist seven minutes into the game when he found Tyler Garcia for the power play score to open up the first period of play at the Silver Cup Tournament. Great Falls prevented the Ducks offense from finding the back of the net during the first twenty minutes. Despite the one-point deficit, Point Mallard out-shot the Americans 14-3. Goaltender Jake Stephan had 14 saves.

The scoring was kept to a minimum during the second period. Josh Hamilton’s unassisted score for Point Mallard tied the contest at 1-1 with 1:08 left before intermission. Great Falls produced 13 shots-on-goal but trailed in that category after two periods, 17-16.

The Great Falls Americans broke the tie at the 7:51 mark of the final period of regulation. Malachi Bushey fired a shot that sailed by the Ducks goaltender Cooper Seedott off the stick of Adam Apangalook to give the Americans back the lead. Both defenses held up the rest of the way.

During the middle period, Great Falls took 13 of their 19 total shots on the night. The team from Alabama finished with five more goals than Great Falls (24-19) with 14 coming in the first period. Great Falls stopped all six of Point Mallard’s power play chances from becoming points. Tyler Garcia provided the only successful power play for the Americans in their three opportunities.

The Americans could not stay away from the penalty box as the Montana team finished with seven infractions for 24 minutes of penalty time. The Ducks received four minor penalties resulting in eight minutes of penalty time.

Great Falls goaltender Jake Stephan ran his record to 21-4-1 as he stopped 23 of the 24 shots that Point Mallard made. Cooper Seedott recorded 17 saves in 58 minutes of action in the loss for Point Mallard.

In earlier action from Thursday’s Silver Cup, the #2 Metro (Michigan) Jets (1-0) earned a shutout win over #7 Texas Jr. Brahmas (0-1) and the #3 St. Louis Junior Blues (1-0) edged the #6 Twin City (MN) Steel (0-1) 4-3. The nightcap saw the #1 North Iowa Bulls (1-0) easily defeating the #8 (Wild Card) Yellowstone Quake (0-1), 6-2.

NEXT CONTEST: The #5 Great Falls Americans will now go up against the top-ranked North Iowa Bulls at 6:30PM (MST) in the second day of the prestigious tournament at the Canlan Ice Arena in Romeoville, Illinois on Thursday night.

The five-day tournament features two pools (Pool A and Pool B). The top two in each pool will play in the semifinal round on Saturday (April 2nd) with the winners facing off for the NA3HL championship on Sunday, April 3rd.

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