The Helena Bighorns had a five-goal lead after two periods and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 6-1 win over the Great Falls Americans.
Damon Hanson was all over the ice for Helena, as he tallied one goal and two assists in the win. Hanson scored 7:45 into the first period to make the score 2-0 Helena. Dylan Webster picked up the assist.
The Bighorns\’ penalty kill excelled, as Helena gave up zero goals despite allowing six power plays.
The Bighorns forced Great Falls\’ goaltenders to work in net, ripping 46 shots and forcing 40 saves. Erik Powell made 28 stops and Evan Hauser made 12. Helena stifled the Americans\’ power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man.
Helena also got points from Webster, who also had three goals and one assist to lead the team in points and Sebastian Hansson, who also finished with one goal and two assists. John Bonta also scored for Helena. Other players who recorded assists for Helena were Nick Okada, who had two and Brandt Miller, Sam Bratten, Austin Buckholtz, and Austin Brihn, who contributed one each.
Great Falls was held below its usual level of production. The Americans put an average of 4.5 pucks into the net per game. Great Falls\’ defense let in more goals than it usually has this year. The Americans average 2.5 goals allowed per game.
The Bighorns\’ Brihn stopped 20 shots out of the 21 that he faced. Helena incurred 14 minutes in penalty time with seven minors. The Americans incurred 20 minutes in penalty time with five minors.