CODY, Wyo. — Yellowstone’s Tyler Boyce scored the game-wining goal on a power play with 5:02 left in the first period to lift the Quake to their third win over the Helena Bighorns this season on Saturday.
The Bighorns (37-5, 74 points) clinched the America West Division regular season title on Friday and were playing a number of backups and new acquisitions.
“We put our newer guys in some situations, we put them on the power play and they killed some penalties,” said Bighorns head coach Scott Cunningham. “No disrespect to Yellowstone, they’re a good quality team, they played hard and deserved to win.”
The Bighorns, meanwhile, made two mistakes that cost them. Nick Kent capitalized on a turnover in the Bighorns’ own slot, scoring with 7:24 left in the first period off an assist by Mathew Schulz.
Then, with Alec Burks in the penalty box for interference, Boyce scored off assists by Chris Rinaldi and Jake Doty.
Helena’s Cody Hess scored the lone goal for the Bighorns on assists by Nolan Grauer and Adam Johnson.
Despite the loss, Cunningham said he won’t be changing his lineup anytime soon, even as they play Yellowstone again today at 4 p.m.
“Tommorrow night’s going to be much of the same, everybody’s going to get a lot of ice,” the coach said. “We’ve made some moves and picked up new guys, so we need to get them inserted into the lines and get them comfortable.”