GREAT FALLS — Declan Young scored the game-winning goal with 3:40 remaining in overtime to help the Gillette Wild stave off elimination against the Great Falls Americans with a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the best-of-3 NA3HL Frontier Divisional semifinals on Friday night.
The rubber game was set for Saturday night in Great Falls.
Great Falls scored twice in the game's first eight minutes of the first stanza. Bryson Fletcher’s pass to an open Alex Jackson secured the first score of the night with 16:27 left. Four minutes later, forward Brindamour Beard recorded his first goal of the playoffs off the stick of Micah Serino.
Immediately after Beard’s scoring drive, Gillette head coach and former Great Falls Americans assistant coach Ethan Hayes replaced starting goaltender Cole Wheaton with backup Alex Shaults. Gillette’s Brock Trboyevich cut the Wild’s deficit to 2-1 at the 6:37 mark. oung and Caleb Sanborn accrued the assists on the scoring drive.
The Americans' lead lasted just 6:47 into the middle period when Gillette answered to even the score (2-2). Tristan Baker racked up the goalwith assists coming from Carson Kuche and Will Blake.
The third period came and went with neither team able to come away with any scoring drives. After three periods, Gillette held a 53-40 shots-on-goal advantage.
In the playoffs, the teams play a 20-minute sudden death extra period (instead of a five-minute period). The score remained tied at 2-2 until Young broke the tie with his game-winning power play slapshot that was set up by defenseman Mason Hoffman and goaltender Alex Shaults.