Support Local Journalism


After Bozeman suffered its first loss of the season last week against Gallatin, Riley Bloomer said the team wasn’t too concerned about its performance.

The Hawks senior immediately looked forward, saying it was more important how the team responded.

On Tuesday, in the first round of the Class AA playoffs, the Hawks got back on track with a 10-0 win against Great Falls CMR, a game that ended after 65 minutes following Bozeman’s final goal.

“I feel great about that,” Bloomer said of the team’s improved play less than a week after the loss. “The past is the past, and the future is what we’ve got to focus on. It felt good to get the ball in the net today.”

By going 13-1 in the regular season, Bozeman earned the top seed in the Eastern AA entering Tuesday. Two of those wins came at the expense of the Rustlers (1-14) by a combined margin of 19-0.

After losing to the Raptors 1-0 last week, Bozeman broke out of its one-game scoring funk against CMR by going ahead 5-0 in the first half.

“We were disappointed, pretty frustrated with ourselves,” Bloomer said of the Gallatin game. “I think we all knew that game wasn’t really for us to score as many goals as we can, but learn as much as we could.”

Bloomer led the Hawks by netting four goals, two in each half. His first score gave Bozeman (14-1) a 3-0 lead. His second provided the five-goal halftime margin. Bloomer now has nine goals this season.

Drew Johnson, the state’s scoring leader, tallied Bozeman’s first two goals, and he completed the hat trick in between Bloomer’s pair of first-half scores. He now has 34 goals this season.

In the second half, Joshua Angell scored the team’s sixth and 10th goals. Fili Oberly scored No. 7, and Bloomer provided the eighth and ninth.

All scoring happened within the first 25 minutes of the half, ending the game early.

“I’m not one to try to get to 10 as quickly as I can, especially during the regular season if I can get some other players in the game,” Hawks head coach Hunter Terry said. “But since it’s the playoffs, we wanted to end the game shortly.”

Johnson also had two assists. Nathan Neil and Thomas Evans each tallied one assist.

Terry said his team is aware the path to a state championship only gets more difficult from here.

“I still feel there are some areas where we need to fine-tune some things,” he said. “I’ve been saying it all year, and I’ll say it all the way to the end, we’ve got plenty to work on and we’re just going to go back and keep working and keep trying to improve and get better and get ready for the next game.”

That next matchup will be at home Saturday against the lowest-seeded Western AA team remaining following Tuesday’s action. Bloomer said the Hawks will be glad to not have to travel.

“Our home field is special to us,” he said. “It always feels great to play here.”

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.

Parker Cotton can be reached at or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @ByParkerCotton.

Recommended for you