The Bozeman Icedogs fell behind early, and the Helena Bighorns kept piling on the points on the way to an 11-0 victory.
Helena got the win with help from a great game by Brandon Mills, who had two goals and three assists. Mills scored the first of his two goals at 6:53 into the first period to make the score 2-0 Helena. Brandt Miller assisted on the tally. Mills\’ next tally made the score 3-0 Helena with 11:36 left in the first period. The Bighorns earned a power play opportunity when Kevin Steffey was put in the box for roughing. Justin Provencher picked up the assist.
Helena was often in penalty trouble, totaling seven minors and two majors for 44 minutes in penalty time. The Bighorns surpassed its season average of 31.0 penalty minutes per game. Helena forced Bozeman\’s netminders to work between the pipes, totaling 41 shots and forcing 30 saves. Cody Smargiassi made 25 stops and Steven Frank made five. The Bighorns excelled on the penalty kill, not giving up a single goal in three chances. Helena\’s goal total was higher than its season average. The Bighorns have scored at the pace of 6.5 goals per game during the current campaign. Helena got an offensive boost from its blueliners, who contributed two goals during the game.
Helena additionally got points from Nick Trefry, who also had one goal and one assist and Miller, who also tallied two goals and four assists to lead the team in points. Others who scored for Helena included Elliot Hopkins, who had two and Isaiah Sands, Jarrett Scheibel, Matt Mohar, and Rory Bock, who scored one goal each. Other players who recorded assists for Helena were Kendall Bolen-Porter, who had three, Talon Bartolo, Cody Vanthournout, Brian Skillicorn, and Grant Martens, who each chipped in one, and Daniel Liberko and Logan Hulse, who contributed two each.
The Icedogs\’ penalty box was a popular destination as the team totaled six minors and two majors for 32 minutes in penalty time. Bozeman had been averaging 27.0 minutes in penalties per game.
The Bighorns\’ Martens stopped 20 shots out of the 20 that he faced. Helena registered one goal on two power play opportunities.