Day one of the DJ’s Automotive Classic is in the books. Each team now has a game under their belts and an idea of what kind of competition they will face for the remainder of the tournament.
The day began with the tournament opening game between the Idaho Junior Steelheads and the Puget Sound Tomahawks. The Tomahawks were under-staffed as they took to the ice with just 12 skaters. The Steelheads were able to take advantage early with a couple quick goals right out of the gate. Idaho dominated play with great passing and puck possession on their way to a decisive 10-0 win.
The second game of the evening featured the Boulder Bison taking on the home town Helena Bighorns in a rematch of their 2010 USA Hockey National Tournament meeting. The Bighorns power play picked up right where it left off last season, capitalizing on their first two chances with a man advantage. The Horns would add two more goals before the end of the period and head into the locker room with a commanding 4-0 lead after one. They would add another power play marker in the second period which ended with a 5-0 Bighorns lead. Each team tallied two goals in the third period for a final score of 7-2 and another Bighorns preseason victory.
Standout performances included two goals from defenseman Blair Murphy who saw his first fight in a Bighorns jersey that night as well. Forward Trevor Tracy had three points on the night with a goal and two assists and also dropped the gloves for a Gordie Howe hat trick. Another notable performance came from Bighorns veteran forward Taylor Laneville who was excellent on the PK and a big physical presence all evening long.
The action continues today with a 3:00 game featuring the Boulder Bison and Puget Sound Tomahawks followed by a 7:30 contest between the Idaho Steelheads and the Helena Bighorns. Full tournament passes are still available for just $20. Stop by the Helena Ice Arena box office for more information.