2022 started off with a bang for the Butte Cobras who traveled to Great Falls for a two-game series against the Americans. The Cobras were returning to action after winning two of three games at the NA3HL Showcase in Minnesota. That win streak is now at four after Butte disposed of the Americans in both games.
Nick Bradshaw led the way on New Years Eve scoring a hat trick to help his squad to a 5-2 victory. Luke Schleusner and David Hanny also scored in the win while goaltender Caleb Cross was the talk of the night stopping 69 of 71 shots in the game, including 29 saves in the third period.
Butte carried that momentum into the next night outplaying the host team in the first period. Schleusner scored early in the game while the Cobras went on to outshoot the Americans 21-14 in the frame.
Drysten Bailey made it 2-0 shortly after second period puck drop before Great Falls were able to get on the board. A missed call by the referees resulted in the Cobras momentarily freezing on the ice and the Americans take advantage. On the play Cade Wessman took a high stick to the head knocking his helmet off.
A powerplay goal by Schleusner made it 3-1 before Great Falls scored in the final minute of the second to cut the Butte lead to 3-2.
In a near repeat performance Cross stopped all 27 shots faced in the final frame. Bradshaw scored the lone goal of the period, his 31st of the season for a 4-2 Butte victory.
“Everyone on the team played great,” commented Cross on the trip back to Butte. “It’s always fun to go into other peoples barn and take away four points. We need to take this momentum into next week.”
The Cobras (14-18-2-0) are back in action this Saturday at Butte Community Ice Center hosting the Bozeman Icedogs (17-10-3-1). Game time is scheduled for 7:00 PM.