Helena Bighorns

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Helena Bighorns
Helena Bighorns logo.png
City Helena, Montana
League North American 3 Hockey League
Division Frontier Division
Founded 2004
Home arena Helena Ice Arena

Blue, Black and White

Owner(s) Oren Koules
General manager Jon Jonasson (2014-15)
Head coach Jon Jonasson (2014-15)
Website www.helenabighorns.com
Franchise history
2004–2006 Queen City Cutthroats
2006-Present Helena Bighorns

The Helena Bighorns is a Tier III Junior A ice hockey team in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) based in Helena, Montana USA. The team plays their home games at the 1,600-seat Helena Ice Arena. The team is owned by Oren Koules, president of Evolution Entertainment and former part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). The Helena Bighorns were members of the NorPac from 2007 to 2011. In 2011, the American West Division of the NorPac league broke away to form the American West Hockey League. In the March of 2014, the North American 3 Hockey league accepted the AWHL league as new division (Frontier Division) of the NA3HL.[1]


The original Helena Bighorns were members of the former America West Hockey League from 2001–2003 after replacing the departed Helena Gold Rush that had operated last in the 1999–2000 season (formerly known as the Helena Ice Pirates from 1994–1999). In 2003, the AWHL merged with the larger North American Hockey League, a Tier II league, and the Bighorns played in the NAHL until 2006.

In 2004, the Tier III NorPac Junior Hockey League expanded into Helena with the Queen City Cutthroats and were immediately successful, winning the Cascade Cup in their first year. In 2006, the NAHL Bighorns withdrew from the NAHL and joined the NorPac under the Cutthroats' franchise. The franchise would take the name of the formerly higher level team beginning with the 2006–07 season.

Cascade Cup[edit]

The Helena Bighorns won six straight NorPac America West Division Championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.[2] They won the NorPac Cascade Cup five times, 2005, 2006 and three straight in 2008, 2009, and 2010.[3]

Lewis & Clark Cup[edit]

The Helena Bighorns have won three straight American West Hockey League Championships in the 2011–12, 2012–13, and 2013–204 AWHL Seasons.[4]

Seasonal records[edit]

North American 3 Hockey League
Season GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
2014-15 47 34 11 2 70 194 98 1,073 2nd of 7 Frontier Div
5 of 31 NA3HL
Won Div Semi-final, 2-1 (Wild)
Lost Div Final, 0-2 (Americans)

Tier III Junior Hockey National Championship[edit]

In 2011, the Helena Bighorns won the Tier III Junior Hockey National Championships by defeating the El Paso Rhinos 5-1 in Rochester, Minnesota.[5] The Helena Bighorns won the bronze medal at the 2014 USA Hockey Tier III National championships.

Round robin play in pool with top 4 teams advancing to semi-final.

Year Round Robin Record Standing SemiFinal Gold Medal Game
2011 Round Robin Gm 1 ?
Round Robin Gm 2 ?
Round Robin Gm 3 ?
 ?-?-?  ? of 4
W, Semi Final W, El Paso Rhinos 5-1
2013 OTW, New Jersey Rockets 2-1
W, Boch Blazers 11-2
L, Atlanta Jr Knights 3-5
2-1-0 2nd of 4
American Pool
L, North Iowa Bulls 2-3 n/a
2014 W, Marquette Royales 6-2
L, Boston Jr. Bruins 0-6
L, New Hampshire Jr Monarchs 3-5
1-2-0 3rd of 4
Red Pool
n/a n/a


The Bighorns have had a number of alumni move on to NCAA NCAA Division I, NCAA Division III, ACHA collegiate programs, higher levels of junior ice hockey, and professional ice hockey.[6]


  1. ^ http://www.na3hl.com/news/story.cfm?id=11149
  2. ^ "Bighorns Capture Sixth Straight Division Championship". Helena Bighorns Hockey Club. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  3. ^ "Bighorns Storm Past Seattle for Third Straight Cascade Cup Championship". Helena Bighorns Hockey Club. 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  4. ^ "Bighorns complete sweep of Quake for 8th league title". Independent Record. March 30, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Helena Bighorns capture hockey national championship". Independent Record. April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Alumni". Helena Bighorns Hockey Club. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 

External links[edit]