The Gillette Wild junior hockey tier III team's (30-17-4) season came to a close Friday night as they were swept from the playoffs by the Yellowstone Quake (38-11-2) by the final of 7-3 in front of more than 800 fans at Spirit Hall Ice Arena.
It was 4-0 before the Wild got on the scoreboard when Alex King scored on assists by Moco Willis and Tyson Loundagin just over midway through the 2nd period. Then just 33 seconds later the Quake made 5-1. The Wild did go on to score two more 2nd period goals when Taylor Motsinger scored an unassisted goal, which may have been his last in a Wild uniform and Loundagin added Gillette's final goal of the season at the 17:42 mark.
Nick Vittori got the start between the pipes for the Wild, but was replaced early in the 2nd period after allowing 3 goal on just 6 shots. However his replacement, Brendan Kruckenberg, didn't fare much better as he gave up 4 goals on 13 shots. Gillette had the advantage on shots on goal with a 40 to 13 edge, but they were only able to get 3 pucks past Yellowstone's Jared Schletty.
Gillette was outscored 17-6 in their 3 playoff games against the Quake. Yellowstone now gets set to take on Helena in the AWHL Finals. Helena advanced to their 9th straight finals after sweeping Missoula from the playoffs with a 6-0 win Friday night.
For more on the Wild go to www.gillettewildhockey.com