The Gillette Wild had trouble finding ways to stop the Helena Bighorns, which beat Wild, 4-1.
Helena was led by goalie Adam Ranck, who finished with 41 saves while allowing one goal. Ranck managed to improve on his goals against average, which stood at 1.76 prior to the game.
Gillette\’s power play was ineffective against the Bighorns\’ penalty kill, which allowed one goal while shorthanded.
Helena racked up the penalties in the contest, and ended with nine minors and one major for 43 minutes in penalty time. The total exceeded the 23.0 minutes per game the Bighorns had been spending in the box.
Helena was helped by Matt Blassic, who finished with one goal. Blassic scored 9:28 into the second period to make the score 2-0 Helena. Rory Bock assisted on the tally. Others who scored for Helena included Jay Forbes, Brian Skillicorn, and Johnny Bonta, who each put in one. Other players who recorded assists for Helena were Nick Trefry and Brandt Miller, who contributed one each.
The Wild forced their penalty killing units to work especially hard during the game, picking up seven minors and one major for 39 minutes in penalty time. Gillette surpassed its season average of 21.0 penalty minutes per game. The Wild could not produce up to their normal offensive output. Gillette puts an average of 3.6 pucks into the net per game. The Wild forced the Bighorns goalie Ranck to work between the pipes, taking 42 shots.
Helena registered one goal on five power play opportunities. Sean Kelley rejected 25 shots on goal for Gillette.