After spotting the visiting Yellowstone Quake three goals on Friday, the Helena Bighorns battled back, closing to within one late. The surge wasn’t quite enough, though, and the Quake pulled out a 5-3 win at the Helena Ice Arena.
In a penalty free first period, the Quake got goals from Pablo Pantoja and Ian Doner -- that second goal coming with just 41 seconds left in the period -- to take the lead. That advantage increased when Tony Dahlberg scored his 21st of the season just 5:28 in.
Helena’s John Heddle got Helena on the board less than a minute later, but Dahlberg scored again at 16:46 to make it a 4-1 Yellowstone edge. Helena native Kyle Hayter answered with a goal only 53 seconds later and Heddle scored again at 8:06 of the third.
That made it a one-goal game, but Helena wasn’t able to make up the difference, and Jesse Lawman put the game away with 1:55 to play with another Quake goal.
Nicholas Battaglia faced a blistering 67 shots in the loss, stopping 62. Yellowstone’s Nick Ottenbacher, meanwhile, stopped 29 of 32 shots to record the win.
The teams will face off again on Saturday. The puck will drop at the HIA at 7:05 p.m.