The Granite City Lumberjacks had a three-goal lead after two periods and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 5-1 win over the Helena Bighorns.
Helena's power play was ineffective against Granite City's penalty kill, which allowed one goal while shorthanded.
The Lumberjacks were paced by Blake Phenow, who racked up one goal. Phenow scored on the power play 3:22 into the second period to make the score 2-0 Granite City. Granite City earned a power play opportunity when Cody Vanthournout was put in the box for interference. David Kenney provided the assist.
The Lumberjacks forced the Bighorns goalie Grant Martens to work between the pipes, taking 40 shots.
Granite City additionally got points from Luke Richardson, who also tallied one goal and one assist, Kenney, who also registered one goal and one assist, and Dallas Marvin, who also finished with one goal and one assist to lead the team in points. Alek Groth also scored for Granite City. In addition, Granite City received assists from Spencer Nelson, Kevin Finley, Travis Kemp, Mitchell Gwost, and Travis Kothenbeutel, who contributed one each.
Helena did not reach the goal total it has come to expect this season. The Bighorns put an average of 4.6 pucks into the net per game. Helena's defense let in more goals than it usually has this year. The Bighorns give up 2.1 goals per game. Helena was forced to rely heavily on their penalty kill unit throughout the game, as it racked up 26 penalty minutes.
The Bighorns were led by Kendall Bolen-Porter, who scored the team's only goal. Bolen-Porter scored on the power play 17:20 into the second period to make the score 3-1 Granite City. Helena had gotten the advantage when Granite City's Tyler Mros was sent off for roughing. Matt Mohar picked up the assist.
Jesse Garcia rejected 22 shots on goal for the Lumberjacks. Granite City incurred 20 minutes in penalty time with 10 minors. Grant Martens made 35 saves for the Bighorns on 40 shots.