This game has been highly anticipated among Bighorns and Maulers fans alike for more than a month. Both teams have battled to claw their way to the top of the AWHL standings, leapfrogging back-and-forth between first and second place all season. The Maulers came into the game leading the Bighorns by just two points, or one win. Fans eagerly packed the stands to watch the rivalry unfold, each hoping for their team to come out ahead.
In the end, the Bighorns dominated the game. Forward Cody Blom scored the only goal of the first period just nine minutes in. The team did a great job keeping the puck away from the Maulers, only allowing Missoula two shots-on-goal for the period.
The First Star of the game came out and did it again. This time Cody Blom scored five minutes into the second period and gave the Bighorns a nice 2-0 lead. This period, Missoula was only able to come up with five shots-on-goal and was still unable to score.
The final period saw fans watching a more even game. Missoula actually outshot Helena by one, but Bighorns goalie Jett Salinas backstopped every single shot to earn his fourth shut-out of the season. In a last ditch effort to score a goal, the Maulers pulled their goalie with just minute left on the clock. Bighorns alternate captain Alex DeWitz had a break away opportunity and scored an empty-net goal with just fifty-eight seconds left in the game. The final minute of the game saw the Mauler’s goalie back in the net…
The Helena Bighorns travel to Missoula on Wednesday, February 29 for a leap-day rematch. The outcome of the game will determine who takes first place in the league, for the time being at least. The Bighorns have only five more regular season games to play and two of those are against Missoula. Fans not traveling to Missoula on Wednesday can watch the game on AWHL TV. Visit the Bighorns website at www.HelenaBighorns.com for more information.
The Bighorns will be playing yet another two-game home stand next weekend. The Bighorns host the Gillette Wild on Friday, March 2 for Tavern Night and then the Bozeman Icedogs on Saturday for Sponsor Appreciation Night. For more information visit the Bighorns website or call (406) 457-2817.
-PRIDE & PASSION-