Quake have 5 Games in 7 Days to start Season’s Second Half, Beginning Tonight
Written by Cole Havens on December 31, 2020
It’s been almost three weeks since the Yellowstone Quake last hit the ice for an actual game. Starting tonight the Quake will be playing five games in the next seven days. Four of which, will be on their home ice. The Quake look for a second half turnaround and that all begins tonight as they welcome Sheridan into the Riley Arena. Prior to the weekends contests I caught up with Head Coach Phil Oberlin and he comments how the break has helped refresh this team.
The break is huge. It’s good for the guys to get away from hockey for a bit and out of the routine a little bit. The first day back, it’s always energetic. We typically are pretty high energy there. The second day has always been a little bit rough just cause getting back into it, they expend a lot of energy that first day. Then it’s a little bit of a drop that second day but typically you get three-four practices in, in two or three days and then jump right into the game. We’ve fared well doing that coming back.”
While these first few games back from the break might not be do or die time there is a greater sense of urgency, especially when it comes to getting off on the right foot.
“The second half is always a sprint. Every game’s important. I think the guys coming back from last year understand that. Hopefully they can make sure the new guys here have that same mindset. They’re not make-or-break games but they’re definitely the second half are more important cause you can see the finish line and you know that you’re in the hunt for playoffs. I think that can motivate and drive the guys to play a little bit harder because the finish line’s in sight.”
Heading into tonight’s face-off Sheridan is the best team in the Frontier Division, standing at 14-1 on the season. Coach Oberlin on this match-up.
“In order to beat a Sheridan you have to play 60 minutes the right way the whole time. You can’t play 50 minutes of a game and then have a 10 minute lapse where they score in bunches, so. Just staying focused shift-to-shift and everything like that is what we have to do. I think that’s what every team has to do against a team that is averaging seven, eight goals a game.”
Then on Friday and Saturday the Quake take on Bozeman and coach Oberlin comments on that face-off.
“I think their special teams are pretty good. So again our power play was doing pretty well the first half. So just working on our penalty kill a little bit more and obviously staying out of the box. We need to make sure we’re, the second half here, we’re a little more disciplined than we were the first half. We want to play with some more speed the second half. So hopefully we can kind of push the tempo a little bit more on our game.”
It’s going to be paramount for the Quake to get the second half of the season started right. With five games on the horizon coach Oberlin details how they’ll take care of business..
“Defense. We’ve got to make sure our goals against average goes down from the first half. It was, it was bad the first half to put it bluntly. So we have to make sure we’re taking care of our end first. I don’t think that we have hit our full potential offensively but if we can keep our goals down to two-three a game, I think our offense at some point is going to end up kind of blowing up.”
Tonight’s face-off vs. Sheridan begins at 7:30pm. Tomorrow the Quake host Bozeman before traveling to Bozeman on Saturday. Puck drops those days at 7:30pm.
Following the weekend of action the Quake will have Sunday and Monday off before playing host to Helena for a rare med week 2-day set. The Quake host Helena Tuesaday and Wednesday for matches that are scheduled to get underway at 11 in the morning.
December 31: Yellowstone Quake vs. Sheridan Hawks at the Riley Areana @ 7:30pm.
January 1: Yellowstone Quake vs. Bozeman Icedogs at the Riley Arena @ 7:30pm.
January 2: Yellowstone Quake at Bozeman Icedogs in Bozeman at 7:30pm.
January 5: Yellowstone Quake vs. Helena Bighorns at the Riley Arena @ 11am.
January 6: Yellowstone Quake vs. Helena Bighorns at the Riley Arena @ 11am.