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HELENA — The Billings Bulls battled with the NorPac’s best, but couldn’t quite keep up with the mighty Helena Bighorns, falling 4-1 on Saturday night at the Helena Ice Arena.

The Bighorns — winners of 17 straight and a 28-1 record — got goals from Rudy Pino and Nolan Grauer in the final two frames to separate themselves from Billings after a 1-1 first period.

Helena’s Michael Sullivan opened the scoring towards the end of the first. The Bulls’ Michael Persigehl answered in the final two minutes of the period with his 16th goal — tying him for the team lead with Jason Effertz.

“We kept pushing the whole game,” said Bulls coach Mike Hass. “The last time we played up here we only managed seven shots on net, today we had 26 shots. We’ve showed lots of improvement over the last couple of weeks.”

Ryan Sutliffe posted his 17th win of the season for the Bighorns in stopping 25-of-26 shots.

The Bulls take a break for the holiday before returning to the ice on New Year’s Eve for a 7:30 p.m. contest with the Butte Roughriders at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.

The Bulls will also be holding mascot tryouts. Those interested in becoming the next Boris the Bull can call the Bulls office at 294-0406.

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