Quake Hockey Set for Single Game vs. Bozeman Tonight
Written by Cole Havens on October 16, 2020
Yellowstone Quake Hockey has gotten a taste of what it feels like to win for the first time in 2020 coming off a weekend split vs. Gillette. Now, the Quake will look to turn that one win into multiple. The season may be young but the Quake know they cannot afford to dig themselves a hole. With just one game this weekend a win vs. Bozeman will go a long way as this game has the feeling of a season turning type of contest. I caught up with Head Coach of the Quake Phil Oberlin and he gives a little insight into their focus at practice this week.
“This week was a lot of offensive stuff. A lot of puck pursuit, a lot of puck protection, ozone stuff. We started out Saturday’s game really well, executing really well. Then we kind of fell apart in terms of our effort. We just kind of focused on our effort and again puck pursuit. Making sure that we’re kind of all over them offensively, defensively. You know if we don’t have the puck we obviously want to get it back.”
One thing that bodes well for a quick turnaround for this team is the leadership they return from last year. Quake players held a player only meeting earlier this week and Coach Oberlin praises the team for taking the next step in their leadership.
“Yeah, I think it’s just their drive. I don’t think that they’re going to be willing to just allow this team to slip into losing streaks and continue to lose games. I think they’ve gone through that, especially the guys that have been here for two years now. They don’t want to lose and they’re not going to allow the group to kind of get into that mentality of losing games is ok. They’re doing whatever they can to make sure that the room is staying positive, that they’re moving in the right direction and they’re kind of leading by example in terms of showing up and working everyday.”
As for this weekend’s match-up. The Quake will be going up against a Bozeman squad who is 2-2 on the season. These two teams built up a rivalry a year ago and coach previews this contest.
“We want to bounce back from a loss. We talked about not losing two games in a row from here on out. We want to have that playoff mentality where if you end up losing two games, you’re eliminated. This game we’re putting a lot of emphasis on making sure we’re coming ready to play and winning those 20 minute games. So winning that first period, second period, third period. Just making sure that we’re playing the right way, that we’re being aggressive, that we’re not sitting back. When we make mistakes, that we’re correcting those and not dwelling on them but moving forward.”
Coach expects Bozeman to employ a similar look as in year’s past but says if they can get out on offense quickly to build a lead that would be key.
“I think special teams. I think our power play is doing really well. So I think that specifically to an advantage, I think that we have an advantage over them on our special teams and stuff like that. They’re going to play pretty similar. Their assistant coach got promoted to head coach so it shouldn’t be to much difference in terms of their floor check, their D-Zone, neutral zone, all that kind of stuff. We’re just preparing ourselves to make sure that we’re doing what we can to win. We’ll make adjustments if anything pops up.”
And what could be the biggest difference maker for the Quake this game?
“I think it’s our penalty kill this weekend. I don’t think we did a great job this past weekend with sticks on the defensive zone. So I think our penalty kill and staying out of the penalty box as well. So our discipline.”
The Yellowstone Quake make the trip up to Bozeman for just a single face-off with the Icedogs tonight. Puck drops at 7:30pm.