Quake Hockey Season Opener this Weekend | Big Horn Basin Media

Quake Hockey Season Opener this Weekend

Written by on September 30, 2020

The Yellowstone Quake Hockey team will hit the ice for their first face-off of the season this weekend. The Quake are coming off a 19-25-2-1 season in which they finished 4th place and won their first round playoff series. Expectations are high for Head Coach Phil Oberlin, who believes this is the best recruiting class he’s had since arriving in Cody. Coach oberlin and the Quake are ecstatic to hit the ice for their first official game on Friday.

“We’re ready to go. It’s been a while. The way the year ended last year I know the guys are looking at this as almost more of a carryover from last year. They want to get started just the way they left off. They don’t want to leave anything on the table. Again, it got taken away pretty quickly last year. So they understand, they’re ready to go this year. Again, it was almost as if the year didn’t end last year, it was just kind of ok we’re back at it now, let’s continue where we left off.”

Depth will be a huge advantage for the Quake this season and will pay off this weekend especially, going up against a Missoula team that is relatively unknown with a new head coach. Coch Oberlin on the style of play the Quake will look to employ.

“We’ve gotten way deeper on the back end with our defense-men. On the offensive side, I think we’ve added a lot of skill and grit. From the top down I think we’re deeper talent wise and I think we got physically deeper as well. Guys are ready to play physical, they’re ready to grind it out. Obviously, we’re going to play the way we want to play. If teams want to play heavy and play physical we can match that. If guys want to play run-and-gun I think we can play that way as well. So I don’t think there’s anything that we can’t do.”

Going into this weekend’s contests vs. Missoula, Coach talks about executing on the ice and says depth, especially on defense will be a catalyst.

“I think the transition game and getting out of our zone quickly and transitioning from defense to offense quickly is going to be a huge part of our game this year. I think we have the capability of doing that. It’s just going to take some time to get into the groove and everything. I think that’s going to be a big factor this year is our defensive capability and our puck movement. So I’m expecting a lot from them.”

This early in the season coach says while wins are important it’s more important to form an identity and he gives the fans an idea of what they can expect.

“We want to be a tough team to play against. Take care of our end first and foremost, limit their opportunities and then when we get offensive opportunities we want to capitalize on those. So that’s’ really what we’re kind of harping on. Just making sure defensively we’re sound. Early on you want to make sure you’re taking care of your defensive end and we’re not giving up a lot of opportunities in our D-Zone and on odd man rushes.”

And how exactly do you form that identity? It’s all about controlling what you can control and if that happens this team should be set up well for success. 

“We just want to be making sure that our habits are there, especially early on, that we’re building throughout the year. Then again our effort and attitude is right. If we can get those, our effort and attitude, right early and we continue to build our good habits and the way that we want to play, ultimately at the end of the day we’re going to end up being where we want to be.”

The Yellowstone Quake hit the ice for their first face-off of 2020 this weekend making the trip up to Missoula. Puck drops at 7pm Friday and Saturday night.

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