Bighorns start program to help those affected by COVID-19

The Helena Bighorns Hockey Club is happy to announce “Horns Helping Horns” program for members of the community affected by restrictions/shelter in place orders due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bighorns would like to help out by offering $25 E-Gift Certificates to Walmart for those who have been laid off or who have lost wages due to COVID-19.

“We know we have a lot of fans that are hurting due to the restrictions and everything else from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bighorns’ owner Randy Rose stated.

In order to get a gift certificate, just fill out the form found under the “Horns Helping Horns” Tab on the Bighorns website, www.helenabighorns.com.

A direct link to the Horns Helping Horns page can be found here.

 

Bighorns grab 3 of 4 points, tie for last playoff spot

The Helena Bighorns earned 3 of 4 possible points this weekend in Gillette, WY, tying them with Missoula for the last playoff berth.

After a slow first half of the season, the Helena Bighorns continued to be unbeaten in regulation for 2020 as they look to earn a playoff berth with just 3 weeks left in the regular season.

The team traveled to Gillette, WY this weekend for a 2 game set vs. the #5 Wild. Friday night saw the team start slow after the long trip to Gillette, and the first period ended in a scoreless tie, 0-0.  The Horns started quickly in the second period as #17 Jiri Benes slammed home a one-timer off a pass from D-partner JJ Blondin on a steadily improving Bighorns powerplay. Helena would take the 1 goal lead into the 3rd period before Porter Tirrill would give them a 2 goal cushion off a great pass from linemate Darren Donovan on a late developing 2 on 1 opportunity.  The next 10 minutes of the period would see back and forth action, before Helena’s Gavyn Galloway would put the game to bed with a goal on an empty Gillette net after they pulled the goalie during 4v4 play. Darren Donovan would add another to give the Bighorns the 4-0 win, as goalie Ethan Racz earned his first shutout of the season, turning aside all 30 of Gillette’s shots.

Saturday’s game started well for the Bighorns, as they took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission off a Porter Tirrill goal off a nice set up by Darren Donovan.  Gillette would not lay down however and came back in the second with two quick goals at 3:49 and 5:58 into the period. Sloppy play on both sides led to a scoreless next twenty minutes before Helena’s Darren Donovan converted on a breakaway attempt at the 6:51 mark in the 3rd period. Neither team would get much going for the rest of the period, and the two teams headed to 3 v 3 overtime tied 2 apiece.  Suspense for both teams was short lived after Gillette’s Caleb Sanborn beat Helena netminder Kevin Taunton with a shot off a faceoff battle just 40 seconds into the extra period. Taunton would take the loss, stopping 19 of 22 shots for the game.

The Bighorns are home this weekend, February 14, 15; and face off against the Sheridan Hawks, who are currently in 2nd place in the Frontier Division. Puck drops at 705 pm both nights.

Bighorns keep pace in Playoff Race

The Helena Bighorns stretched their point streak to 9 games with two wins over the Butte Cobras this past week.

The Bighorns travelled to Butte on Wednesday for a rare mid-week game at the Butte Community Ice Center.  The two teams skated to a scoreless tie in the first period, before things opened up just minutes into the second period with a goal by Ty Niskanen that put the Bighorns up 1-0. The Cobras answered back with a goal by Ty Stovin just over two minutes later, evening it one apiece. The Bighorns weren’t done however as Johnny Baird scored at the 16:53 mark, followed by a strike by Porter Tirrill with 1:14 to go in the frame.

The Bighorns would continue the momentum with a strike by Jiri Benes just 1:40 into the 3rd,  followed by a nice tip from forward Blaine Krona just over a minute later. Ty Niskanen would round things up with his 2nd of the night at the half way point of the 3rd to seal it for the Bighorns, 6-1. Bighorn goalie Ethan Racz would get the win, allowing just the one goal on 50 shots.

Saturday saw the Bighorns travel back to Butte for the 2nd game of the week, and the Cobras were ready to play from the puck drop as they got goals from Robin Bagley and Ty Stovin to take a 2-0 lead just over 5 minutes into the period. Helena would finally wake up as the period  passed the halfway mark, with a goal by Abe Laggis at 10:26. Ty Niskanen took the momentum and found the net just 18 seconds later to tie the game at 2 apiece. Bighorns forward Darren Donovan would pot his 21st of the year towards the end of the period to give the Bighorns a 3-2 lead going into the 1st intermission. It was all Bighorns from that point on as Tirrill and Laggis would score in the second period, followed by goals from Deskin and Galloway in the 3rd, giving the Bighorns the 7-2 win. Racz recovered nicely from the shaky start, not allowing a goal after the first two and stopping 27 of 29 for the win.

The two wins on the week extended the Bighorns streak to points in each of the last nine games, and kept them undefeated in regulation play in 2020. The points were badly needed as Missoula upset the Gillette Wild both games this weekend, keeping a 1 point lead over the Horns for the final playoff spot. The Bighorns will be on the road again this weekend as they head to Gillette for two games. The Horns are 1-3 in four games against the Wild this season.

Bighorns sweep Yellowstone in Home Opening weekend.

The Helena Bighorns used home ice to their full advantage this weekend, besting the Yellowstone Quake 5-2 on both Friday and Saturday night in a two game set at the Helena Ice Arena. With each team netting a goal in the first period Friday night, the Bighorns started the second period with a goal by #12 Isaac Ellingson (Crosby, ND) just 2:51 into the period. The Bighorns would control the momentum for most of the second, adding two more goals by #18 Darren Donovan (Fairbanks, AK) and #2 William Wallace (Sunburst, MT) respectively, while holding the Quake to just 10 shots on net.
The Quake would start the third with a push, and was rewarded with a goal by Will Yates just 1:05 into the last frame. Helena then found themselves in penalty trouble, getting sent to the box 5 times in the last 15 minutes of the period. The ‘Horns penalty kill unit was up to the task however, sealing the win with a short-handed goal at the 10:12 mark of the third. Goalie Garret Dryden (St. Louis, MO) notched his second victory in as many weeks versus the Quake, stopping 41 of 43 shots.

Saturday’s game saw the Bighorns come out with sloppy play to start the game, however the Quake were equally lacking in execution and the Bighorns finished the first period with a 1-0 lead on a tally by Hlib Tkach (Kyiv, Ukraine) midway through the period. The second period saw both teams turn it around offensively, as Helena grabbed a 2-0 lead with a goal by #25 Abe Laggis (Rhinelander, WI) just 4:00 minutes in. Yellowstone would awaken from it’s offensive slumber just 41 seconds later on a goal by Spencer Platt, and would tie the game at 2-2 with a goal at 13:38 after a nice deflection from Ryan Lovelace that beat Helena’s Bailey Bradford high on the glove side. Helena would take the momentum into the second intermission however, as Conor Pequet (Rhinelander, WI) would capitalize on a turnover in the Yellowstone zone and blow one by Quake goalie Michael Allman with just under two minutes remaining in the period.
The third period saw back and forth action before Helena’s Ellingson tipped a shot past Allman to give the Bighorns a little breathing room. Bighorn forward Johnny Baird (Glendale, AZ) quelled any chance of a Quake comeback with a tally at 17:14 to give the Horns a 3 goal lead and complete the weekend sweep.
The two wins moved Helena into a 4-way tie for first in the division with 6 points, and improved the Bighorns record to 3-1. Helena will be on the road for their next two games, travelling to Missoula and Great Falls respectively next Friday and Saturday night. The Horns will return home on Friday, October 4 for a home and home series against the Bozeman Icedogs, then travelling to Bozeman on Saturday, October 5.

Last Round of Playoffs

Helena Bighorns take on the Great Falls Americans for the last 3 game series in the Frontier Conference playoffs to secure their spot in the NA3HL National Championships in Chicago. $5 ALL TICKETS FOR THURSDAYS GAME! Helena, let’s pack the house to send your team off to Chicago!!