Butte Cobras host Bozeman Icedogs in Saturday NA3HL hockey action – 406mtsports.com

Butte Cobras host Bozeman Icedogs in Saturday NA3HL hockey action – 406mtsports.com

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Joshua Horacek of the Butte Cobras defends the net Tamer Billman breaks in for a shot during practice a practice earlier this season.
Sports Editor, Montana Standard
Joshua Horacek of the Butte Cobras defends the net Tamer Billman breaks in for a shot during practice a practice earlier this season.
The Butte Cobras will host the Bozeman Icedogs on Saturday night at the Butte Community Ice Center.
Game time at BCIC is 7:30 p.m.
The Cobras dropped a pair of 4-3 decisions, one in overtime, last weekend to Great Falls.
Butte finished the weekend in third place in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Frontier Division standings with nine points at 4-4-1.
Great Falls improved to 4-4 with eight points, a point in back of the Cobras in fourth place.
Bozeman pulled off a stunner to start last weekend’s series with Helena as Cam Milewski stopped 50 shots in a 1-0 win against the previously-unbeaten Bighorns on Friday night at Haynes Pavilion.
Bighorns’ netminder Gabe Swanson stopped all 18 Bozeman shots to earn Helena a 4-0 shutout.
Helena improved their first-place mark to 9-1, good for 18 points. The Bighorns’ 18 points are second to only Northeast’s (9-0, shootout loss) 19 points for most in the NA3HL.
Bozeman is 3-6 with six points in sixth place.
Season series
The 2022-2023 series is tied at 1-1, with each team winning on their home ice.
The Cobras defeated Bozeman in their first home game of the season on Sept. 24, 4-2.
After a scoreless first periods, Butte jumped out to a 4-0 advantage. Nick Bradshaw, Cade Wessman, and Patrick Crooks had a goal and an assist.
Chris Porciuncula and Spencer Wilkinson had third period goals for the Icedogs in the third period.
At Haynes Center on Sept. 30, the Icedogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the first two periods and held on for a 6-2 win.
Kolt Gutzman had a goal and two assists, and Kole Morris had two goals for Bozeman in the win.
Bradshaw and Tamer Billman had third-period goals for Butte.
Lamplighters
Butte’s Nick Bradshaw has nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points in nine games, good for third overall, His 2.33 points per game is second to Atlanta’s Nick Jameus (2.46 points per game, 13 games, six goals, 26 assists, 32 points).
Cade Wessman (9 games, 3 goals, 13 assists, 16 points, 1.78 ppg.) is tied fourth in the league in scoring.
Luke Schleusner (6 games, 8 goals, 3 assists, 11 points, 1.83 ppg.) leads all defensemen in the NA3HL.
Chris Porciuncula (9 games, 5 goals, assist, 6 points) is Bozeman’s leader in goals and assists. Kole Morris (9 games, 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points) is second in the team.
Braden Koliha and Bodie Shepardson (3 assists) lead the Icedogs in assists.
Net assets
Nikolai Wallery made his debut in goal last Friday night in Great Falls and took an OT loss, 4-3.
The combination of Wallery, Caleb Cross, and Braylon Rogers has gong 4-4-1 this season with 3.29 goals allowed average, have allowed 30 goals and registered 411 saves.
Milewski has played in seven of nine games for Bozeman, which is tied for second in the NA3HL. He has a 2-5 record with a 3.40 GAA, having allowed 23 goals in seven games and has a save percentage of a respectable .947. His 438 saves lead the NA3HL by 142 over Badlands’ goaltender Zach Broxterman.
The combination of Milewski, Branigann Stalder, and Sean Smer are 3-6 with a 3.78 GAA, allowed 34 goals, made 520 saves and have a collective .935 save percentage.
Avoiding the penalty box
Bozeman leads the division in penalty minutes (307 in 9 games, 34.1 minutes per game), while Butte is third in the division in penalty minutes (177 in 9 games, 19.7 minutes per game).
Special teams
With leading the division in penalty minutes, Bozeman finds themselves short-handed a significant amount of time. Bozeman is eighth in the division is power play goals (3-of-35, 8.6%) and third in the division in penalty killing (47-of-58, 81%). The Icedogs have allowed one short-handed goal.
Chris Porciuncula has two power play goals to lead the Icedogs.
Butte is sixth in the division on the power play (7-of-39, 17.9%) and sixth in penalty killing (22-of-30, 73.3%). They have yet to allow or score a short-handed goal.
Patrick Crooks leads the Cobras in power play goals with three.
Streaky play
Schlesner has scored in four consecutive games played, dating back to Sept. 17. During the streak, Schleusner has 8 goals and 2 assists.
Bradshaw had a 3-game scoring streak snapped on Oct. 1 after scoring 5 goals and 6 assists in that span.
Porciuncula had 5 goals in a 4-game span earlier in the season.
After the weekend
Butte will have two road trips over the next two weeks. On Oct. 21-22, the Cobras will travel to Roosevelt Park Ice Arena for a two-game series with the Badland Sabres in Rapid City, SD. On Oct. 28-29, the Cobras face the Gillette Wild in a two-game series at the Spirit Hall Ice Arena in Gillette, Wyo.
Bozeman hosts the Sheridan Hawks on Oct. 21-22 at Haynes Pavilion before traveling for a weekend series with Yellowstone Quake at Riley Arena in Cody, Wyo.
Contact Tony on Twitter (@HeresTony2) or by email at [email protected].
Sports Editor, Montana Standard
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