HELENA — The Missoula Junior Bruins picked up arguably their biggest win Saturday, handing the Helena Bighorns their first home loss of the season in overtime, 4-3, at the Helena Ice Arena.
Vadim Zubkov's unassisted goal just 8 seconds into OT proved to be the difference. The goal gave him a hat trick for the game.
The Junior Bruins improved to 16-12 with their third straight win. The Bighorns, who lead the NA3 Hockey League's Frontier Division, fell to 23-5.
Missoula raced to a 3-0 lead in the first 33 minutes. Trevor Prince started the scoring when he lit the lamp on assists from Zubkov and Misha Akatnov at 7:55 in the first period.
The score stayed at 1-0 until 3:25 in the second period when Zubkov tallied his first goal on a feed from Connor Frye. Zubkov added an unassisted goal about nine minutes later.
Helena rallied with three goals against Jr. Bruins goalie Josh Sample in the final 33 minutes of regulation time. Elliot Plourde scored twice in the final seven minutes of the second period and Kaden Lindberg scored the equalizer with five minutes left in the third period.
Helena finished with a 42-31 edge in shots. A crowd of 457 fans turned out for the contest.
The Jr. Bruins will shoot for their fourth straight win on New Year's Eve when they play host to the Great Falls Americans at 6 p.m. at Glacier Ice Rink.