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Great Falls Americans hockey club under new ownership

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 18, 2023

(Editor's note: Great Falls Americans media release.)

GREAT FALLS — The NA3HL has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the application and transfer of membership of the Great Falls Americans to Matthew Leaf, who purchased the team from Robert and Kandi Rasmussen effective for the 2023-24 season.

Leaf, who most recently was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Officiating Education Program for USA Hockey in Colorado Springs, Colorado, bought the Montana-based Great Falls Americans of the NA3HL.

Matt is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin located in Madison, Wisconsin with a bachelor of science degree in Dairy Science. He has over 40 years of on-ice officiating and off-ice officiating experience in USA Hockey and the International Ice Hockey Federation.

“First off, I want to acknowledge and thank Rob and Kandi Rasmussen for transitioning the Americans out of the difficult COVID period and working with head coach/general manager Greg Sears in creating the culture that allowed my sons (Aaron and Alex) to have a great experience playing for the Americans,” said Leaf.

He acknowledged the hockey support already in place from the Great Falls community.

“The Great Falls business community has always supported the Americans and I look forward to continuing to partner with the people of Great Falls to provide family friendly hockey entertainment at a reasonable price,” continued the new owner of the Americans.

“It is important that youth hockey continues to grow in the area and the Great Falls Community Ice Plex also has success as they continue to make improvements in the facility. I very much look forward to working with those entities and hope that my experience with USA Hockey will bring valuable resources to Great Falls that will allow all of us to prosper.”

Sears will continue his role as head coach and general manager of the team. Sears, also a Wisconsin native, just finished up his fifth season behind the bench for Great Falls. Sears has experience in both the NA3HL, and the North American Hockey League having spent time as an assistant coach with the Yellowstone Quake (NA3HL Frontier Division) and the NAHL’s Coulee Region Chill.

“We are very excited that the Leaf family will be taking over the Americans,” Sears said. “We are happy to be on board moving forward and excited about the future of Americans hockey.”