Quake Hockey Preps for Great Falls, Late Season Push Attainable
Written by Cole Havens on January 28, 2021
Coming off three tough losses against Bozeman and Sheridan, last weekend the Yellowstone Quake Hockey team is eager to get back on the ice. The Quake have 14 games remaining the their schedule and sit at 8-17-1 on the season. The Quake did earn a point for their OT loss against Sheridan and while they fell to both the teams they know with the right effort and intensity, they can compete with any team. As the Quake get set to travel to Great Falls I caught up with Head Coach Phil Oberlin who believes this team can still make a late season push.
“We’ve played well since we’ve been back from break but now again it’s just up to getting those results and the guys are confident that we can still make a push here. If we can win 10, 11, 12 of these last games, we’re right in it. I think that ends up getting us into the playoffs just because of who we’re playing. So if we end up getting those wins that we need and start to climb and keeping those teams that are ahead of us from getting points when we play them, there’s no reason why we can’t climb our way back into this.”
When you look at the Quake, they are a resilient bunch. The overtime loss has given the Quake confidence that they can string together wins. Obviously, hopefully it’s enough to get us into that playoff picture but again, we want to be playing our best hockey at the end of the year.
“The guys that were here last year understand that we’re peaking at the right time, we’re playing really well and again, we’ll string together some wins here at the end. So if we end up winning these games, getting into the playoffs, I don’t think we’re going to be a team that anybody wants to play, just like we were last year.”
The Quake are entering every game with a one game at a time mindset but also realize every minute is critical. Coach says they can’t focus so much on wins and losses but rather competing in a fashion that gives themselves opportunities.
“To start off right on the road, if we can start out with the first 20 and play well there and then just continue to build off of it, you know that’s what we want to do. We have to make sure we’re out competing every night, in every game but also understanding that if something doesn’t go our way or if something doesn’t happen or if something does happen that is not necessarily ideal for us, you can’t dwell on it. We’re not out and done until the last game of the season. We’re going to keep pushing and trying to compete for that playoff spot.”
As for their contest against Great Falls, coach goes on to talk about the Americans and how they match-up.
“They’ve slipped a little bit. In the second half put some wins together, still winning close games. They’re tough defensively, pretty smothering offensively, so if we can break the puck out well and not get stuck in our D-zone for extended periods of time I think we’ll have success there. That’s kind of what they do really well, is their floor checking, locking teams into their D-zone and then just creating a lot of opportunities off of that. So kind of moving the puck and making sure that we’re playing with a pretty good pace and tempo and D-zone is kind of what we’re looking at doing.”
The Yellowstone Quake travel Montana for a road contest with the Great Falls Americans, Friday and Saturday. Both face-offs are scheduled for 7:30pm.