Quake Hockey Skating up the Standings

Written by on January 21, 2020

AFTER A WEEKEND SWEEP OVER THE BUTTE COBRAS THE YELLOWSTONE QUAKE CURRENTLY SIT IN 5TH PLACE IN THE FRONTIER DIVISION AND ARE NOW JUST ONE POINT BACK OF GILLETTE. THE QUAKE HAVE PLAYED IN SEVEN GAMES SINCE THE HOLIDAY BREAK WINNING FOUR OF THOSE CONTESTS. THE QUAKE ARE CURRENTLY ON A THREE GAME WIN STREAK AND HEAD COACH PHIL OBERLIN GIVES AN OVERALL EXPLANATION AS TO WHAT’S BEEN WORKING THE LAST FEW GAMES.

“PUCK POSSESSION. I THINK WE DID A REALLY GOOD JOB OF REGROUPING AND ATTACKING AS A 5-MAN UNIT. WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT AGAINST BUTTE THE LAST TIME WE ENDED UP LOSING THERE, WE WERE JUST KIND OF THROWING PUCKS. WE WEREN’T PLAYING AS A GROUP, WE WEREN’T POSSESSING THE PUCK THE WAY THAT WE WANTED TO AND SO JUST KIND OF SLOWING THE GAME DOWN WHEN WE GET THOSE OPPORTUNITIES AND THEN BEING A LITTLE BIT MORE METHODICAL AND STRUCTURED IN OUR GAME HELPED A LOT THIS WEEKEND. I THINK THAT’S GOING TO BE WHAT WE WANT TO FOCUS ON THE REST OF THE YEAR.”

UP NEXT ON THEIR SCHEDULE IS A FACE-OFF WITH THE MISSOULA JUNIOR BRUINS. LAST TIME THESE TWO TEAMS HIT THE ICE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER WAS BACK IN NOVEMBER AND THE JUNIOR BRUINS CAME AWAY WITH A WEEKEND SWEEP. COACH OBERLIN ON THE CHALLENGES THE QUAKE MUST OVERCOME THIS TIME AROUND.

“THEIR POWER PLAY IS GOOD. SO AGAIN IT’S GOING TO BE A FOCUS ON OUR SPECIAL TEAMS. OUR POWER PLAY HAS DONE REALLY WELL, EVEN IN THE HELENA LOSSES. THE PUCK MOVEMENT’S BEEN REALLY GOOD WE JUST DIDN’T CAPITALIZE IN HELENA, WE CAPITALIZED THIS WEEKEND OBVIOUSLY. SPECIAL TEAMS ARE GOING TO BE HUGE. THEY HAVE A GOOD POWER PLAY. AGAIN, I THINK IF WE CAN PLAY PUCK POSSESSION AND FOCUS ON WINNING RACES AND ONE-ON-ONE BATTLES WE SHOULD BE OK.”

THE JUNIOR BRUINS SIT 11 POINTS BACK OF THE QUAKE AND YELLOWSTONE WILL LOOK TO ADD TO THAT LEAD. COACH OBERLIN ON THE EMPHASIS AT PRACTICE THIS WEEK.

“RE-GROUPS AND THEN AGAIN, ATTACKING AS A UNIT AND JUST BEING MUCH MORE STRUCTURED. I THINK FOR A WHILE THERE IN THE FIRST HALF (OF THE SEASON) WE WERE TRYING TO PLAY WITH A LITTLE BIT MORE SPEED AND ALLOW THE GUYS TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE CREATIVE AND A BIT MORE INTERCHANGEABLE. WE CAN PLAY WITH SPEED BUT I THINK WE NEED TO PLAY WITH A BIT MORE STRUCTURE THAN WHAT WE HAD IN THE FIRST HALF. JUST HARPING ON THAT STRUCTURE AND JUST MAKING SURE THAT WE DON’T GET AWAY FROM WHAT WE’RE DOING NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, BUT AGAIN TAKING THAT METHODICAL APPROACH.”

AND AS FOR HOW THE QUAKE WILL COME AWAY WITH A SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND ON THE RINK COACH OBERLIN TALKS ABOUT HOW EVERYONE NEEDS TO DO THEIR JOB TO ACHIEVE THE COLLECTIVE GOAL.

“PLAYING DISCIPLINED AND THEN JUST AGAIN, WINNING OUR ONE-ON-ONE BATTLES. THAT IS THE BIGGEST CONSISTENCY THAT WE NEED TO HAVE, IS JUST EVERYBODY WINNING ONE-ON-ONE RACES, WINNING THOSE PUCK BATTLES. I THINK THAT’S GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE THAT EMPHASIS MOVING FORWARD. IF WE CAN WIN OUR ONE-ON-ONE BATTLES AND WE CAN THEN WIN THOSE BATTLES AS A GROUP, THAT’S GOING TO END UP, OBVIOUSLY TRANSLATING INTO WINS.”

THE YELLOWSTONE QUAKE ARE BACK ON THE ICE THIS WEEKEND AS THEY WELCOME THE MISSOULA JUNIOR BRUINS INTO THE REILLY ARENA WITH PUCK DROPPING AT 7:30 BOTH NIGHTS.


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