SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Hawks defeated the Helena Bighorns 7-2 in a NA3HL divisional game Saturday. The Hawks defeated the Bighorns the previous night 12-4.
The game was not smooth sailing for the Hawks as Helena came out and scored the first goal just under six minutes in the game. Dylan Ferreira scored for the Bighorns. Ten minutes later Blake Billings tied the game up for the Hawks while Sheridan was shorthanded. The first period ended with the game tied and Helena was hanging around with the Hawks.
“We just got to come out ready to go each night,” said Jack Royer. “I think we came out a little flat in the first. We picked it up in the second and third and brought it to them. We just need to work on coming out flying every single shift to start the game.”
Ferreira gave the Bighorns a 2-1 lead in the second but a power play goal by Stepan Ruta tied the game back up. Ruta was assisted by Billings and Logan Syrup.
Sheridan took their first lead of the game thanks to a goal by Steven Delikat who was assisted by Trevor Timm. Shortly after, the Hawks were trying to kill a power play when Justin Schwartzmiller scored, giving the Hawks a two-goal lead following the period.
“It is huge,” Trapper Morey said about gaining momentum end the second period. “When you can get the first goal and come out and get a shorthanded goal it just shows we came to work. We came out flat in the first period but we did not layover and give them the momentum, we took it to them.”
Kamden Sengheiser scored a goal early in the third period giving the Hawks the momentum and increasing the lead to 5-2. Sheridan’s Schwartzmiller and Timm each scored once in the period.
“We had a great crowd here tonight that brought a lot of energy and momentum for us,” Royer said. “Once we popped those few goals in we kind of went on a roll there and that is what we need.”
Following Sengheiser’s goal, the Hawks took control and the game became chippy with three players being ejected from the game. Royer and Morey were two players ejected for the Hawks at different points in the period.
“Hockey is a game of emotions,” Morey said. “Sometimes they boil over in good ways and in bad ways. Sometimes guys cannot control and they do something stupid other times they can and it helps the team out.”
Royer went on to add that discipline is needed to be a good hockey team.
“To be a successful hockey team you have got to have good discipline,” Royer said. “You have to be disciplined for the whole game. Getting involved in extracurriculars right there it should not happen. It brings us momentum and it gets the boys going but at the end of the day having a disciplined team is going to make us a championship team.”
The Hawks’ penalty kill was strong in the third period, killing off two major penalties and were shorthanded 3-5 for three minutes. Morey said the defensive zone always comes first.
“To have a good penalty kill is one of the most important things as a part of the team,” Royer said. “To bear down like that when a guy is in the box for five minutes and kill it off is huge… We came together as a team, we had a couple of guys go out but I think we came together really well. We persevered at the end there and we handed it to them.”
Zach Hearn was in the goal for the Hawks, allowing two goals but standing strong during the long penalty kills and making saves while down 3-5 in a number of skaters. Hearn had 26 saves in the game.
“I thought Hearn played a great game; he played an exceptional game,” Royer said. “The two goals he let in were not his fault whatsoever. I thought Hearn played terrific and he came out and let it rip.”
The Hawks are now on an eight-game winning streak and will be back home against the Missoula Junior Bruins Nov. 8-9. The Hawks are now 12-4 on the season and are third in the division.