The Billings Bulls could not stop the xGillette Wild\’s Andrii Istominov, who tallied a hat trick in a 5-4 win.
Istominov notched his first tally 13:32 into the first period. He then added goals at 12:59 into the second and at 17:33 into the third.
xGillette forced Bulls\’ goalies to work between the pipes, finishing with 41 shots and forcing 36 saves. Daniel Oordt made 19 stops and isaac tjaden made 17.
xGillette also got points from Alex King, who also racked up two goals and two assists. In addition, xGillette received assists from Trent Dillinger, who had three and Chase Engdahl, Tyler Reble, and Greg Sauers, who each chipped in one.
Billings kept the Wild\’s goalie busy throughout the game, and Sean Kelley made 32 saves on 36 shots.
The Bulls were helped by Tristen Heinrichs, who had one goal. Heinrichs scored on the power play 12:26 into the second period to make the score 2-1 Billings. Billings had gotten the advantage when xGillette\’s Bryce Mitzel was sent off for slashing. Ralfs Karelis assisted on the tally. Billings also had goals scored by Colter Endy, Orri Haman, and Bryce Jensen, who scored one goal each. More assists for Billings came via Steven Thompson, who had two and Christian Akita, Matt Myers, and T J Theodosopoulos, who contributed one a piece.
The Wild incurred eight minutes in penalty time with four minors. The Bulls incurred 10 minutes in penalty time with five minors.