A strong, second-period rally preceded a stagnant third on Saturday, and the Helena Bighorns dropped a tough 4-3 decision to the Great Falls Americans at the Helena Ice Arena.
Down two goals after the first period, 3-1, Helena came out hot in the second. Adam Apangalook scored at 2:43 of the frame and Ben Kottmeier scored four minutes later, tying the game at 3-3.
The Bighorns kept the pressure on in the middle frame, sending 18 shots at American keeper Nick Nast, while holding the visitors to 13 shots of their own. That after a 25-shot first period from Great Falls.
In the final frame, Helena keeper Nicholas Battaglia made multiple big saves, but was eventually beaten midway through the period by Tanner Congdon. It ended up being the deciding goal, as Helena managed just six shots in the period.
In the first, Great Falls' Brendan Jester scored only 38 seconds in, but Helena's Gavin Cline tied it up at 4:56. Great Falls ended the first with a flurry of shots, scoring at 16:57 and again at 17:27 to gain the advantage at the first intermission.
Helena will be at home again on Friday, hosting Bozeman. The Bighorns will then hit the road to face off against the Americans once again on Saturday.
Townsend sweeps Elkhorn Rivalry game
Led by Tavia Rooney, Townsend edged rival Jefferson 49-46 on Saturday.
Rooney poured in 22 points for the Bulldogs, who also got 13 from Lainee Hill and 11 from Abby Leachman.
Jefferson was paced by Aubrey McMaster with 22 points and Ellie Evertz with 12.
In the boys game, Townsend downed the Panthers 67-59. The two were only one point apart after the first quarter, but Townsend pulled ahead in the second with a 22-12 frame and held onto that advantage for the rest of the night.
Payden Anderson was the leading scorer with a game-high 22, while Townsend also got 11 from Teigen Snyder and 10 from Jaden Graveley. Jefferson, meanwhile, got 18 points from Josh Eckmann and 17 from Noah Fader.
Flathead rallies past Capital boys
Capital High doubled up Flathead in the first quarter, but was unable to keep pace in the second half, ultimately falling 54-44 in Kalispell.
The Bruins led 14-7 after the first quarter and still held a 23-20 edge at the half. But the Braves pulled ahead by the end of the third and pulled away for the win.
Bradley Haller led Capital with 20 points in the loss, while Matt McGinley added eight.
Glacier has little trouble with HHS
Unable to build a double-digit quarter on Saturday, Helena High fell on the road to Glacier, 49-26.
The Bengals scored seven points in the first quarter and just four in the second, and never managed to get the offense untracked.
Gabe Walsh scored eight and Keair Adgerson added seven for the Bengals, while the team's leading scorer, Taylor England, hit for just four points in the loss.