In a game where neither team could get a cushion, the Missoula Maulers escaped with a 4-2 victory over the Helena Bighorns.
No lead was more than two goals during the contest, and the winning goal was scored by Brett Mathews at 12:22 of the third period.
Missoula was led by Mathews, who tallied one goal.
The Maulers excelled on the penalty kill, not giving up a single goal in four chances. Missoula's offense rang up 38 shots on Helena's net.
Zach Paisley also scored for Missoula. Other players who recorded assists for Missoula were Anders Nord, who had two and Joey Sundgren, Christian Manning, Jordan Wheatley, and Viktor Steenson, who contributed one a piece.
The Bighorns were held below their usual level of production. Helena averages 7.0 goals per game. The Bighorns kept the Maulers' goalie busy throughout the game, and Cody Janzen made 62 saves on 64 shots. Helena's defense let in more goals than it usually has this year. The Bighorns give up 1.1 goal per game.
Helena was helped by Logan Henne, who racked up one goal. Henne scored 18:38 into the second period to make the score 2-1 Missoula. Nick Okada picked up the assist. Helena also got a goal from Wyatt Winfield as well. More assists for Helena came via Theo Campe, Damon Hanson, and Jacob Wolter, who each chipped in one.
Missoula incurred 12 minutes in penalty time with six minors. Jett Salinas recorded 34 saves for the Bighorns. Helena incurred 10 minutes in penalty time with five minors.