HELENA - Adam Johnson scored two goals and netminder Ryan Sutliffe saved all 26 shots he faced as the NorPac's America West division-leading Helena Bighorns blanked the Billings Bulls 3-0 at the Helena Ice Arena on Friday.
The Billings Bulls had been looking to recapture their mid-November form, when they won three of four during one stretch. The Bighorns proved to be too much for the Bulls on this night, sending Billings to its third straight loss and improving to 4-0 against the Bulls this season.
Helena's Robbie Knott opened up a scoreless game early in the second with a power-play goal. The 1-0 lead held until Adam Johnson added to it midway through the final period. Johnson tallied another goal with just under five minutes to play.
Tim Gerrish, who has been relatively solid in net for the Bulls this year, kept Billings in the game with a 35-save performance.
"I thought we played really, really well," Bulls coach Mike Hass said. "We had some great opportunities, but (Sutliffe) came up huge three or four times and that really made the difference."
Ryan Dyer was making his Bulls debut. Dyer, previously of Wichita Falls of the NAHL, is expected to bolster the defense. Lucas Neitenbach was also moved back to the defensive line.
The Bulls return home today for the second of three consecutive contests with the Bighorns. Game time at the Centennial Ice Arena is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.