By The Independent Record | Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2010 1:00 am
Helena’s Rudi Pino deflected a shot by Zack Maxwell 11 seconds into overtime as the Bighorns survived a rare close game with Butte 3-2 Saturday night in the Helena Ice Arena.
The Bighorns (30-4) have won 11 straight against the Roughriders (3-38) with every win up until Saturday by at least six and as much as 15.
But when a goalie puts up 73 saves, it’s hard to pull of the win. The Bighorns outshot their opponent 76-17, but Roughriders goalie James Adamo was able to block all of them but three.
Butte’s Ryan Thompson scored first before teammate Nicholas Gomez gave the Roughriders a 2-0 lead with 7:45 left in the first period, giving the Roughriders some hope.
But, Helena’s Adam Johnson and Jack Kippen would add a goal each to tie it up before the 1st intermission.
After both teams were shut out the next two periods, the onslaught was finally too much for the Butte defense.
Johnson won the face off to start the extra period, the Bighorns moved the puck into Butte’s zone and Pino was able to put a stick on Maxwell’s shot from the point to put the game away.
It was Pino’s 37th goal of the season, which leads the Bighorns, while Nic Wackerly finished with 15 saves for his 11th win, sixth against the Roughriders.
The Bighorns host Bozeman on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.