There was no loss of momentum for head coach Jon Vaillancourt and his La Crosse Freeze team on day two of the NA3HL Showcase. On day one they came into a matchup against the Niagara Falls PowerHawks and took care of business, winning 8-2.
Day two looked to be a tougher matchup against the Great Falls Americans in the competitive Frontier Division. A team that’s found success, the Americans sit at 17-7-2 (36 points) at the midway mark in the season. The Freeze sit slightly ahead of them in the overall standings at 21-5-1 (43 points).
The first period saw little action aside from a Matthew Francois hooking penalty that put the Freeze at man down late in the period. In the second the Freeze had three power play opportunities but it wasn’t until Brandon Ratzloff (Brock Zukowski, Thomas Magnavite) found the back of the net that the Freeze cracked the scoreboard.
The Ratzloff goal came with just six seconds left in the middle frame. They held the 1-0 lead until Great Falls’ Payton McSharry scored at the 14:18 mark. A short minute and 46 seconds later, Francois (Brady Lindauer) made up for his time in the box in the first to give La Crosse the 2-1 and eventual win.
Jacob Silverstein, a second-year goalie for La Crosse, saw just 13 shots but impressed with his time in net giving up just the one goal.
Day three marks the final day of the Showcase for the NA3HL. The Freeze will meet the East Division leading Pittsburgh Vengeance at 12:15pm CT. A lot will be on the line as both teams look to stay perfect and end the annual tournament with a perfect 3-0 record.