GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Missoula Jr. Bruins dropped their sixth straight game Saturday night.
They made a gallant comeback bid against the Gillette Wild but faded late in suffering a 6-3 setback at Spirit Hall Ice Arena. Missoula fell to 17-25 in NA3 Hockey League Frontier Division action while the Wild boosted its record to 21-19.
The Jr. Bruins started slow in spotting the hosts a 2-0 lead. Hunter Peterson scored a power play goal at 4:42 and Nick Stockert made it 2-0 on an assist from Gage Thompson at 11:58.
Missoula cut its deficit in half with just 33 seconds left in the first period. Austin Dennison scored on assists from Vadim Zubkov and Misha Akatnov.
Gillette boosted its lead to 4-1 with a pair of goals in the second period. The Wild out-shot the Jr. Bruins 20-7 in the period.
Missoula rallied with two goals in the first five minutes of the third period. Dennison scored again on assists from Zubkov and Akatnov. Less than a minute later Zach Jaffe scored on assists from Bryan Miller and Dennison.
Gillette pulled away with two insurance goals in the final nine minutes. Billy Yoder took the loss in net for Missoula despite making 42 saves.
Missoula racked up 55 penalty minutes and Gillette 60. The Jr. Bruins have three games remaining and will return to action Friday night at Bozeman.