GREAT FALLS — The NA3HL Frontier division playoffs are in full swing with four teams left in the semifinals trying to win a Frontier championship and a berth to the Fraser Cup.
The No. 4-seed Great Falls Americans (24-20-3-2) defeated the Badlands Sabres 7-2 Saturday, March 5 to advance to the Frontier semifinals where they will go up against the No. 1-seed Helena Bighorns (42-3-2-0) who are coming off a bye week.
The Americans will have their hands full against the Bighorns after going 1-7 against them in the regular season but throughout the year, Head Coach Greg Sears has seen the team, at times, be the toughest team to beat in the conference.
“This team could do something special or we could get bounced this weekend. It’s been the story of our season which is inconsistency and has been reflected in our record which is about .500. We’ve beat the best and lost to the worst so if we can find our groove here we’ll be right there in the end.”
Though the season is long and grueling with travel and postseason, the players are physically and mentally ready to go and continue their run.
“Everyone’s feeling pretty good, no one is too sore so that’s good the guys mood seems good in the locker room,” Americans forward, Thomas Gazich said.
Chemistry and confidence are the two baseline ingredients to success for the Americans and they’ll need to be excellent in all facets of the game in order to advance to the Frontier finals.
“If we can put 60 minutes together and work harder than the other team, I don’t think there’s a team in the division that can beat us,” Gazich said confidently.
“They just got to let it all loose. At this time in the year, it’s just chemistry,” Sears explained. “If they want to come together and do something special, they can, if not, it’s going to be over.”
Game 1 of the best-of-3 series will be Friday, March 11 at the Great Falls Ice Plex. Puck drop at 7:30 p.m. Games two and three (if needed) will be in Helena at the Helena Ice Arena.