MISSOULA – The Great Falls Americans jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and then held off a comeback to beat the Missoula Bruins 4-2.
The second-place Americans used goals from Payton McSharry and Michael Fary in the first period. Then Tanner Rath scored while getting knocked down in front of the net to put Great Falls up 3-0 with 13:13 left in the second period.
Missoula’s comeback started 2:20 later, when Carson Cummingham provided his 13th goal of the season. Vadim Zubkov scored his first mid-way through the third period to climb the Bruins back within one. But an empty-net goal by Jens Juliussen with five seconds left sealed the win.
The two teams play again in Missoula’s Glacier Ice Rink at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.