GREAT FALLS – Two of the best teams in the Frontier Division squared off as the Great Falls Americans hosted the Helena Bighorns. In no surprise at all, it ended up being one of the wildest and best games of the season so far. Helena came away with a 5-4 victory in a shootout.
The Americans jumped out in front early in the first period with goals from Payton McSharry and George Nuutinen. Helena answered with a goal from Darren Donovan but a second period goal from Ben Rinckey made it 3-1 Great Falls. Helena (whose only loss so far this season was to the Americans) took control with goals from Luc Cross and a second goal from Donovan to tie the score 3-3 at the end of the second period.
In the third, the Bighorns jumped out in front as Ty Niskanen delivered a goal for a 4-3 lead. The Americans then answered right back as Lindros Beard found the back of the net to send the game into overtime tied at 4. Neither team was able to decide the game in the overtime period so it went to a shootout. A goal by Helena’s Mikhail Gavrilenko in the shootout ended the game in a 5-4 Helena victory.
The Bighorns are now a staggering 20-1 on the year, the team will next head to play the Bozeman Icedogs on the road on Saturday, December 1st. The Americans drop to 17-5 on the year and will go on the road to play Missoula Junior Bruins on the 1st.