3View: Great Falls Americans | North American Tier III Hockey League | NA3HL
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3View: Great Falls Americans

August 27, 2023

The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2023-24 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2023-24 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2022-23 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.

Great Falls Americans

Head Coach: Greg Sears (6th season)

2022-23 Record: 47 GP, 17-27-3, 37 pts (5th in Frontier Division)

2022-23 Leading Scorer: Jace Thompson (47 points)

2023 Playoffs: Missed the Playoffs

2023-24 Division: Frontier

The Great Falls Americans closed the book on a tough 2022-23 season after missing the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons. Lead by Head Coach Greg Sears, who is entering his 6th season at the helm of the Americans, found positives in what was, in his words, a rough season.

“We had a good group of kids, but we struggled to put the puck in the net,” Sears said. “The positive is that we have seven or eight guys moving on to play college hockey from last year’s team. We are proud of those guys. No matter the level, playing hockey in college is hard to do. I look forward to following along as those guys move on.”

During the offseason, the Americans are now under new ownership as Matt Leaf purchased the team from Robert and Kandi Rasmussen. 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.

“We are very excited for the new season and the beginning of a new era in Great Falls hockey as Matt Leaf takes over as Owner of the Americans,” Sears said. “Matt has the experience to help get the team back to where it has been in the past and further.” 

As changes happen off the ice, the goal on the ice stays the same, win. Sears and his staff are optimistic about the upcoming year. The NA3HL’s Frontier Division continues to be one of the most competitive to play in and with the high bar set for the upcoming season, Sears knows what it will take to compete in the Frontier.

“The biggest thing I have noticed over time is how much better the Frontier Division has become as a whole,” Sears said. “From top to bottom, you're going to get a good game every night. There are some really good players in the Frontier, and I think each year we continue to grow as a division.”

The Great Falls Americans are expecting to see familiarity with returning players and the addition of veteran junior hockey players for the upcoming year.

“Phil Harrell, Sammy Duehlmeier, Aaron Leaf, and Sterling Almdahl all return to the Americans for their third year in the league,” Sears said. “We will look to those guys to lead our younger guys.  Goaltender Adler Hoagland and defenseman Walker Montgomery are also veteran junior hockey players that will join the mix.”

As the summer months come to an end, and the Montana air begins to get cool, hockey is the only thing on the mind of the Americans.

“A lot of big changes in Great Falls including a new locker room and skills center are just the start,” Sears shared. “We can’t wait to get started.”

Next Up: Helena Bighorns

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