WOODRIDGE, Ill. — The Helena Bighorns lost their Fraser Cup hockey playoffs pool-play opener to the Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques of Maine, 4-1, at Seven Bridges Ice Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
The Nordiques controlled the game from the opening faceoff, as they got 25 shots on goal in the opening period compared to Helena’s eight. Two of those 25 shots found the back of the net for Lewiston/Auburn. Colby Audette scored 3:36 into the game and Valeri Rykov made it 2-0 just before the 8-minute mark.
Lewiston/Auburn tacked on a third goal just 41 seconds into the second period to take a 3-0 lead. Helena, though, trimmed the deficit to 3-1 on a power-play goal by Darren Donovan two-and-a-half minutes later. The score remained 3-1 entering the final period.
Helena was unable to claw back from the early deficit, though. The Nordiques added to their 3-1 lead in the third period on a power-play goal by Cole Ouellette, leading to the final 4-1 margin.
Lewiston/Auburn out-shot Helena 52-26 on the afternoon, continually pressuring the Bighorns’ defense. Helena converted its only power-play opportunity, while Lewiston/Auburn converted one of two.
Helena will continue pool play on Friday at 3 p.m. (MDT) against the North Iowa Bulls.