Helena blows out Billings, 4-1

The Helena Bighorns had a two-goal lead after two periods and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 4-1 win over the Billings Bulls.

Helena was led by goalie Austin Brihn, who finished with 30 saves while allowing one goal. Despite the solid performance, Brihn will actually see his goals against average rise, as it stood at 0.5 entering the contest.

The Bighorns were sparked by John Bonta, who finished with one goal. Bonta scored 16:39 into the first period to make the score 2-0 Helena. Brandt Miller assisted on the tally.

Helena put up an impenetrable defensive front on the penalty kill, and did not allow Billings to score on any of its three power plays. The Bighorns could not produce up to their normal offensive output. Helena averages 6.6 goals per game. The Bighorns forced the Bulls goalie Isaac Tjaden to work between the pipes, taking 40 shots.

Helena additionally got points from Damon Hanson, who also racked up one goal and one assist and Dylan Webster, who also tallied one goal and one assist. Matt Mohar also scored for Helena. Other players who recorded assists for Helena were Sebastian Hansson and Brian Skillicorn, who contributed one each.

Billings\’ penalty kill was spotless, allowing no goals on four Helena power plays. The Bulls were held below their usual level of production. Billings puts an average of 3.2 pucks into the net per game. The Bulls\’ offense rang up 31 shots on Helena\’s net.

Billings was led by Cody Phillips, who scored the team\’s only goal. Phillips scored 5:50 into the second period to make the score 3-1 Helena. Colter Endy picked up the assist.

The Bighorns incurred six minutes in penalty time with three minors. The Bulls\’ Tjaden stopped 36 shots out of the 40 that he faced. Billings incurred 10 minutes in penalty time with five minors.