SHERIDAN, Wyo. — The second-ranked Great Falls Americans started fast and rolled to a 7-3 victory over top-seeded Sheridan (Wyoming) on Friday night to even their best-of-3 NA3HL Frontier Division finals at one game apiece.
Micah Serino and Bryson Fletcher each scored twice, Thomas Gazich recorded four assists and goaltender Ben Winkler made 42 saves to help hand the Hawks (42-2-0-0) their second loss of the season and send the series to a deciding game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Sheridan.
The winner gets the automatic berth to the 2021 Fraser Cup (National) Tournament next week in St. Peters, Missouri.
Serino scored the first of his two goals 8:24 into the first period for the Americans (30-12-3-0). Sheridan scored 44 seconds later as Nick Wieben and Brice French set up Nathan Gilleshammer’s third goal in two games. Later in the frame, Alex Jackson scored his second goal of the playoffs. Thomas Gazich assisted on both scoring plays along with one assist apiece by Tommy Janes and Lucas Gudz.
Serino, Garret Weisenburger, and Bryson Fletcher all lit up the lamp for a 5-1 lead after two periods. Gazich assisted on two scoring opportunities, Zach Crawley, Hunter Maschke and Alex Jackson also assisted. Lucas Gudz chipped in his second assist in two periods.