Helena -- Hayden Seitz and Ben Kottmeier both potted hat tricks for the Bighorns as Helena defeated the Missoula Junior Bruins in a high-scoring affair 8-4 Saturday at the Helena Ice Arena.
Richard Groskops almost made it three hat tricks for the Bighorns as he netted the other two Helena goals, the first and last goals of the contest. In between it was Seitz and Kottmeier filling the stat sheet. Seitz scored once in the first period and then both players scored twice during an action-packed second period that saw the teams combine for seven goals.
Kottmeier completed his hat trick in the third period and was then ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct for abusing an official later in the period. Kottmeier, Seitz and Groskops each had an assist as well in the win, while Kaden Lindberg and Jarett Scheibel each recorded two assists for the Bighorns.
Misha Akatnov lit the lamp twice for Missoula in the second period, and Rhys Cottle scored in the first period and Parker Todd in the second for the Junior Bruins. Cameron Cunningham had two assists in the loss.
Both starting goalies were chased from the game. Helena's Nick Battaglia was taken out midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 24 shots. He was replaced by Eric Berglund, who shut out the Junior Bruins the rest of the way, making 13 saves to get the win. Missoula netminder Brian Thomas was on the bench at the start of the third period after allowing six goals on 40 shots in the first two periods. Duncan Wiest allowed two goals on 19 shots in the third period in relief of Thomas.
Missoula dropped to 9-11-1 in NA3 Hockey League Frontier Division action. Helena improved to 13-7-1.
The Bighorns host the Gillette Wild in a pair of games next weekend. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. both Friday and Saturday night at the Helena Ice Arena.