(Editor’s note: Report by Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News)
BUTTE — The Bozeman Icedogs got off to an electric start to the 2018-2019 North American 3 Hockey League Season after a 13-0 win against the Butte Cobras on Saturday in Butte.
Issac Smoldon and Nash Pine recorded hat tricks in the contest for Bozeman, while Hazen McKay, Wyatt Burell, and Dominic Canic notched two goals each. Adam Franklin would also add to the goal total with one of his own, while Hayden Groth, Gage Blatter, and Gabe Huntley found the score sheet with a flurry of assists. In total, the Ice Dogs amassed an impressive 94 shots on the Butte goal. Starting goalie AJ Ruskowski made 30 saves en route to a shutout performance.
Elliot Bates, Bozeman’s new head coach, was happy about the win in his Icedogs coaching debut.
“It was a great way to start the season,” Bates said. “It was a great morale boost for our returners and got the first-game jitters out of the way for the rookies. The camaraderie of the team is refreshing to see as a coach, knowing these players have come from all over.”
The Icedogs know that the work is far from over, and they will practice hard this week to gear up for a good test about Missoula.
“Looking forward to the next game against Missoula, we will need to clean up our game in some areas, but the guys are still eager to learn and continue building off our first game success,” Bates said.
The Icedogs will take on the Missoula Bruins next weekend on the road at the Glacier Ice Arena.