The game between the Billings Bulls and the Gillette Wild was tight through all 60 minutes, but in the end Billings emerged with a 4-2 win.
No lead was more than two goals during the contest, and the winning goal was scored by Steven Thompson at 17:56 of the third period.
The Bulls\’ penalty kill was spotless, allowing no goals on four Gillette power plays. Billings\’ offense rang up 44 shots on Gillette\’s net.
The Bulls were led by Josh Pena, who registered two goals. Pena scored the first of his two goals at 7:51 into the second period to make the score 2-1 Gillette. Reed Kaiser picked up the assist. Pena\’s next tally made the score 4-2 Billings with one second1 seconds left in the third period. Nick Rizzo provided the assist. Alex Lundstrom also scored for Billings. In addition, Billings received assists from Ian Wiljanen, who had one and TJ Theodosopoulos, who had two.
The Wild forced their penalty killing units to work especially hard during the game, picking up seven minors and one major for 29 minutes in penalty time. The total exceeded the 20.0 minutes per game Gillette had been spending in the box. The Wild stifled Billings\’ power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man. Gillette\’s offense operated below its season average. The Wild average 4.1 goals per game. Gillette forced the Bulls goalie Cole Semchak to work between the pipes, taking 33 shots.
The Wild were led by Bryce Mitzel, who tallied two goals. Mitzel scored the first of his two goals at 1:56 into the second period to make the score 1-0 Gillette. Kyle Reilly picked up the assist. Mitzel\’s next tally made the score 2-0 Gillette with 16:37 left in the second period. More assists for Gillette came via Mike Magera, who had one.
Semchak rejected 31 shots on goal for Billings. The Bulls incurred 20 minutes in penalty time with five minors. Sean Kelley recorded 40 saves for Gillette.