Tag Archives: news

2017-’18 Season Schedule

The NA3HL has approved the final version of the schedule for all 48 teams across the US.

Here, you’ll find our printable schedule.

– All Home Games begin at 7:05pm. The following are some interesting games here at home you may want to pay attention to:

  • Opening Night is here at home on Friday, September 15th vs the Gillette Wild. Game two of the home series will be Saturday, September 16th.
  • The Butte Cobras have replaced the Havre/Glacier Nationals in the Frontier Division. Friday, October 20th marks the first time in 14 years a Butte Junior team has competed against the Bighorns at the Helena Ice Arena.
  • The following night, Saturday, October 21st marks the first visit by the rival Great Falls Americans.
  • Friday, December 8th will be our annual Toys for Tots/Radley School Choir night. We set a record last year for toy donations from the Helena Bighorns, and this year we hope to do even more! And the kids singing Christmas carols are always a welcome treat to the players.
  • Friday, February 2nd marks the final visit by the Missoula Bruins. This rivalry renewed from years past went back and forth all season last year. This game has serious playoff implications.
  • The final regular season game here at home is Saturday, March 3rd against potential Playoff opponent and heated rival Great Fall Americans. Expect the Bighorns to be in full-on playoff mode!

Pocket and Magnet Schedules will be available around the start of the regular season.

For up-to-the-minute news, stories, and other fun content, be sure you’re following our Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter accounts as well as behind-the-scenes and player take-overs of Snapchat.

2017 NA3HL Bighorn Draft

The Bighorns had exceptional results in the NA3HL draft on June 13 resulting in the drafting of the following players:
Dylan Goulet, D, Grand Forks Stallions
Nick Lund, F, East Grand Forks High School
Aaron Garrison, F, Seacoast College Prep 18U
Michael Kelly, F, Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings
Joseph Digiulio, F, Arizona Bobcats
Johnny Bennis, F, Omaha Lancers 18 U
Joshua Morrison, D, Omaha 18U
Carter Jones, F, Spokane Braves
Rory Anderson, F, Calumet High School
Now we will work to get them signed!

Press Conference Introduces New Owners

The Helena Bighorns had their press conference on June 6, 2017 to introduce the Rose Family as the new owners of the Team. Enjoy the links below.

Helena independent Record


KLXH TV – 2 videos. One 13 minutes long of the entire interview and one that was on TV here last night

2017-18 Tenders

Bighorns tenders, as of June 12, 2017:

Hunter Pierce (Forward) – Alaskan Native

Michael Schafer (Defense) – Rockford, IL

Nick Noel (Forward) – Airdrie, Alberta

Kaden Lindberg (Forward) – Helena, MT

Chad Purdy (Goalie) – Springfield, MO

Max Engle (Forward) – Littleton, CO

Keegan Barker (Forward) – Englewood, CO

Jack Lebar (Defense) – Centennial, CO

Andrew Clark (Defense) – Spokane, WA

Hayter Commits to NCAA DIII Worcester State

Congratulations to our Captain, Kyle Hayter on his NCAA DIII commitment to Worcester State University! Kyle is the first Helena player to play through the Helena Area Youth Hockey Assco., captain the junior team and move on to NCAA Division III hockey.
“It feels great”, Hayter said. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity; it has been a goal of mine for a very long time to play NCAA hockey. I want to say thank you to my teammates, coaches, the NA3HL, and my parents for all of their help along the way.”
“It’s a testament to the commitment and drive Kyle has had over the past two years to accomplish this goal of his” said Head Coach and GM Bob Richards. “The Bighorns organization is proud of Kyle, and we are certain he will be a strong representation of our program as well as of the Helena community.”

Bighorns Clinch Final Playoff Spot

(photo credit: Troy Shockley, Helena Independent Record)
It’s been a roller coaster of a season for the Helena Bighorns.

The ups and downs, twists and full-tilt-upside-down turns have all been a part of the Bighorns journey. Coach Bob Richards said “what matters most is the end result, rather than how it looks while getting there”. True statement.

Hot and cold, better and worse, injuries and suspensions, the Bighorns are returning to the playoffs despite the nay-sayers, clinching the final spot in the NA3HL Frontier Division this past Friday night vs the Billings Bulls with a 7-1 victory on home ice.

Helena acquired player Gavin Cline in a trade at the League Trade Deadline earlier in the week, sending forward Ian Mercado up north to the Glacier Nationals in return. Cline didn’t hesitate to to take on his new role with this club, posting a goal and 3 assists in his first game as a Bighorn.Cline would finish the weekend with a total of 6 points. Hot-handed goaltender Nick Battaglia stopped 12 of 13 shots in a game where the defensive core for Helena stepped up by blocking shots and playing more physically in front of the net.

The Bighorns needed only 4 seconds in the opening period to net their first goal, an took just over a minute after that to score another. Crashing the net and attacking the zone with purpose has been a focus in practice over the last couple weeks; efforts that paid off in both games this weekend.

The ‘horns took on rival Great Falls Americans on Saturday night in a game that looked more like the close ones of the distant past. Heading into the first intermission down 3-1, the Bighorns rallied in the second period, scoring twice more and holding Great Falls to just 13 shots. The Americans and Bighorns fought it out to a incredible game, but fell short of the victory by a final of 4-3.

Now that the Bighorns are playoff-bound, the players are more focused than ever. Three year veteran and assistant captain Jarrett Scheibel said that making the playoffs was one of his goals, but the work doesn’t stop there.

Bighorns have a home game this Friday night as Helen takes on Bozeman, and will be on the road on Saturday to battle Great Falls.

UPDATE: Helena Inks More Players for New Season

The Helena Bighorns (NA3HL, Tier III, USA Hockey) have been very busy this summer, as new bench boss Bob Richards has tendered players from all over the country.

The blue line looks improved over last season already with the signing of local Helena talent Dane Rieger the addition of Henry Kipper from Rhineland, WI and Jeremy Solko from Casper, WY.

Rieger, described as a rangy, two-way defenseman looks to make an immediate impact on the team, his first year playing at the Junior level. Coach Richards says “Dane has the skating ability to jump into the rush and create offense. A young player with a ton of potential, he has the drive to make Helena his launching pad to a great career”.  Rieger is originally from Illinois and moved to Helena three summers ago.

Henry Kipper brings a physical presence to the team. A stocky 5’11”, 210lb defenseman, Coach Richards describes as a “solid stay at home defenseman with a great work ethic and he likes to play the physical game. He'll be a great addition to the team”.

Jeremy Solko is a product of the Capser, WY HS team. A “defenseman who played high school in Casper. Jeremy has nice mobility and has good instincts in the d zone” said Richards.

At the Forward positions, Richards inked Ian Mercado, a speedy, two-way forward from Kenai, AK. Nolan Komsicki, an Omaha, NE native and product of the Lincoln jr. Stars program is “a hard working forward who consistently wins puck battles and has a great head for the game both offensively and defensively”. Rounding out the tendered forwards is returning forward Kyle Hayter of Helena. Both Hayter and Dane Rieger are former players of Richards from his coaching days as the Helena Bighorns High School Head Coach.

UPDATE: Added to the final tender contract signings was Isaiah Moneas out of Notre Dame. Ryan Bayne, also from Notre Dame was drafted during the NA3HL Draft this offseason. 
For up-to-the-minute news and other exclusive content, follow the Helena Bighorns on Facebook at www.facebook.com/helenabighornshockeyclub

New Head Coach Hits Recruiting Trail Running

It is a busy time of year for coaches all across the NA3HL. The recruiting season in full swing, and Helena’s new Head Coach and General Manager Bob Richards is right in the thick of the action, building this team for his debut year as bench boss for the Bighorns.

Richards replaces former Coach/GM Jon Jonasson behind the helm of a franchise in unfamiliar territory. The Bighorns just barely missed the playoffs last season, something that hasn’t happened in Helena for over 14 years. Jonasson, along with former assistant-turned-interim head coach Blake Mendenhall went to the Breezy Point North Stars of the NA3HL, where the past two head coaches have found promotions to the tier two NAHL Kenai River Brown Bears coaching staff.

Bob Richards, however, has been living in Helena with his wife, Dana for the last 3 years, raising their three boys in the town Richards played his junior hockey days from 1996 to 1999, under none other than Scott Cunnigham himself. He returned in 2007 and 2008 to assist Cunnngham on the bench, earning a Division Championship and a NORPAC Cascade Cup in those years respectively. Since returning to Helena, Bob has coached the Helena Bighorns High School team, winning a State Championship in ’14 and runner-up this past season.

“I’m not the guy that’s looking to only stay here one or two or three years and then move on and move up [coaching ranks]”, says Richards. “I moved here to raise my family. I love Helena and I’m looking to stay here for a long time.”

Bob’s task of replacing a squad from last season that saw a little bit of turnover in the roster is no easy one at all. He has been on the phone since the minute he was hired, talking to former Bighorns, current ones, and other guys he’s prospecting. Richards will travel quite a bit in the coming weeks to visit players at various camps, talk with parents, and compare notes with league scouts and friends of the Bighorns organization. “I’m not just looking for skilled players, I’m looking for the ones with heart,” he says. “If a player is willing to work hard and put in the effort, I can teach him where to be. For me, skating is the most important skill I look for. Hard working and great skaters are what I look for first, and of course those that have scoring touch as well.”

This former Ice Pirate is ready to take on the challenge: “Right The Ship” for Helena’s beloved Bighorns.

If you are interested in learning more about becommin a Bighorn, call Coach Richards at 406-475-2814 or fill out the form on our website at www.helenabighorns.com under the “Tryouts” tab.

Yellowstone wins tough contest against Helena, 5-3

In a game where neither team could get a cushion, Yellowstone escaped with a 5-3 victory over Helena.

Neither team gained more than a two-goal lead, and Matt Runyon\’s goal in the second period proved to be the difference maker.

Max Doner had two goals to lead Yellowstone to victory. Doner scored at 7:34 into the second period to make the score 1-1 and again while 19:13 into the third to make the score 5-3 Yellowstone.

Yellowstone\’s penalty kill excelled, as Yellowstone gave up one goal despite allowing six power plays.

Yellowstone forced Helena\’s goaltenders to work between the pipes, finishing with 49 shots and forcing 44 saves. Alex Kruger made 11 stops and Adam Ranck made 33.

Yellowstone also got points from Tony Dahlberg, who also registered one goal and one assist, Reed Kelly, who also finished with one goal and two assists, and Runyon, who also grabbed one goal and two assists to lead the team in points. In addition, Yellowstone received assists from Nick Greene and Nicholas Elliot, who contributed one each.

Helena forced Yellowstone goalie Lance Knudson to work between the pipes, taking 51 shots.

Helena was helped by Jay Forbes, who had one goal. Forbes scored 19:03 into the second period to make the score 3-2 Yellowstone. Matt Blassic assisted on the tally. Helena additionally got points from Ryan Daugherty, who also registered one goal and one assist. Johnny Bonta also scored for Helena. Other players who recorded assists for Helena were Blake Babineau, who had one.

Lance Knudson made 48 saves for Yellowstone on 51 shots. Yellowstone incurred 12 minutes in penalty time with six minors. Helena incurred 30 minutes in penalty time with five minors.

Yellowstone beats Helena 6-3 as Kelly gets hat trick

Reed Kelly netted a hat trick to lead Yellowstone over Helena, 6-3.

Kelly\’s first goal came 3:28 into the second period. He then added goals at 11:19 into the second and at 17:56 into the third.

Yellowstone stifled Helena\’s power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man. Yellowstone\’s offense rang up 52 shots on Helena\’s net.

Yellowstone also got points from Curtis Greenbush, who also tallied one goal and one assist and Nicholas Elliot, who also had one goal and one assist. Yellowstone also got a goal from Manuel Manero as well. More assists for Yellowstone came via Cosimo Yapello, Tony Dahlberg, Will Landsverk, and Justin Berezinski, who contributed one each and Nick Greene and Matt Runyon, who each chipped in two.

Helena forced Yellowstone goalie Garret Matz to work between the pipes, taking 33 shots. Helena was forced to rely heavily on their penalty kill unit throughout the game, as it racked up 28 penalty minutes.

Helena was helped by Gavin Lubin, who tallied one goal. Lubin scored 20:00 into the second period to make the score 3-3. John Greer assisted on the tally. Helena also had goals scored by Ryan Daugherty and Brandon Mills, who scored one goal each. In addition, Helena received assists from Jarrett Scheibel, who had two and Jay Forbes and Drake Hill, who contributed one each.

Matz rejected 30 shots on goal for Yellowstone. Yellowstone incurred 18 minutes in penalty time with nine minors. Adam Ranck made 46 saves for Helena on 51 shots. Helena registered zero goals on five power play opportunities.