Helena Bighorns and Butte Cobras clashed in another NA3HL Frontier Division matchup Friday night in Butte where a wild finish saw Helena pull out a victory in overtime. Isaac Ellingson scored the overtime winner :28 into the extra frame for the visiting Bighorns.
The game result was not without controversy though. With Butte holding a 4-3 advantage in the final minute of regulation the Bighorns pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker. Cobras defenseman Kyle Chambers cleared the puck from beyond the center ice line with the puck appearing to go right under the stick of a Bighorns player, but the linesman whistled icing with :34 to play. A faceoff in the Butte zone resulted and just six seconds later Helena would score the tying goal.
An unlucky play during the three-on-three overtime led to the game winner after Kyler Garjo lost his stick in the offensive zone. Helena gained possession of the puck and quickly countered with a two-on-one break where Ellingson put his own rebound past goaltender Paul Jarvis for the victory.
A product of the 95 Giants Hockey Club based in Attleboro, Massachussetts, Jarvis was making his NA3HL debut playing well throughout. The 19-year old held off the Helena attack for much of the second period, stopping 22 of 24 shots in the frame to give the Cobras a 4-3 lead heading into the third. Despite the overtime loss Jarvis finished with over 50 saves in the game.
Goal scorers for the Cobras were Jonathan Schoof, Nick Bradshaw, Garsjo and Zane Cluphf who also added an assist.
The Cobras (3-20-2-0) now turn their attention to Saturday night when they host the Missoula Jr. Bruins (14-6-2-0) at Butte Community Center. Puck drop scheduled for 7:05 PM.