Yellowstone Quake Move up to 4th in the Division Thanks to Elevated Play, Goal-Tending

Written by on February 4, 2020

FOLLOWING A WEEKEND SPLIT AGAINST THE SHERIDAN HAWKS THE YELLOWSTONE QUAKE HAVE JUMPED OVER GILLETTE AND NOW SIT AT 4TH PLACE IN THE FRONTIER DIVISION. THE QUAKE SPORT A 17-20-2-1 OVERALL RECORD AND SIT 1 POINT AHEAD OF THE WILD. HEAD COACH PHIL OBERLIN TOUCHES ON WHAT WENT WELL VS. SHERIDAN AND WHAT HE BELIEVES STILL NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.

“I THOUGHT THAT WE ACTUALLY BROKE THE PUCK OUT AND WE MOVED THE PUCK RELATIVELY WELL. EVEN THOUGH THE STRUCTURE WAS THERE I THINK OUR EXECUTION WAS A LITTLE BIT LACKING, THIS WEEKEND. SO WE’RE DOING WHAT WE NEED TO DO. WE JUST GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR PASSES ARE ON, THEIR CRISP, THEY ARE TAPE-TO-TAPE. JUST THOSE LITTLE DETAILS MOVING FORWARD THAT DOWN THE ROAD ARE GOING TO END UP WINNING GAMES OR LOSING GAMES IN THE PLAYOFFS.

UP NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE IS A FACE-OFF AGAINST THE BOZEMAN ICE DOGS. THE LAST TIME THESE TWO TEAMS MET WAS NEW YEARS EVE WHEN THE QUAKE WON 4-3 IN A SHOOTOUT. COACH OBERLIN ON HOW THE TEAM IS APPROACHING THEIR MATCH-UP WITH BOZEMAN.

“VERY SIMILAR TO SHERIDAN. THEY’RE HIGHLY SKILLED. THEY SCORE A LOT OF GOALS. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO WIN AS A TEAM. WE CAN’T RELY ON INDIVIDUALS TO GO OUT AND SKATE THE PUCK COAST-TO-COAST AND SCORE. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR SPECIAL TEAMS ARE PREPARED AND READY TO GO. THEN, AGAIN, JUST MAKE SURE WE’RE COMMITTED TO THE DEFENSIVE END OF THINGS AND WHEN WE GET OPPORTUNITIES TO PUT PUCKS ON THE NET, (WE) PUT PUCKS ON THE NET. GOOD THINGS WILL HAPPEN AT THAT POINT.”

BEING CONSISTENT HAS BEEN A BIG KEY FOR THE QUAKE ALL YEAR. EARLY IN THE SEASON THE QUAKE WOULD PLAY DOWN TO CERTAIN OPPONENTS WHILE PLAYING UP TO OTHERS. COACH OBERLIN ON HOW THE PLAYERS ARE RISING TO THE OCCASION ON A MORE CONSISTENT BASIS.

“WE HAVEN’T CHANGED MUCH OF ANYTHING. I THINK IT’S JUST THE GUYS SPENDING THAT FIRST HALF WORKING ON THAT CONSISTENCY, GOING INTO THE SECOND HALF UNDERSTANDING IT. ONCE YOU START TO GET SOME OF THOSE RESULTS WITH WHAT WE’RE SELLING AND WE’RE PREACHING. THEY CONTINUE TO WORK AT IT. SO IT’S NOT AS IF WE’VE CHANGED ANYTHING, THEY’RE STARTING TO BUY IN FULLY NOW. THAT CONSISTENCY IS GOING TO COME WITH THE ENTIRE TEAM BUY IN. SO IF EVERYBODY IS ON THE SAME PAGE, EVERYBODY IS WORKING TOWARDS IT AND DOING WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED BE DOING AND BELIEVING IN IT, THEN THAT’S WHEN YOU START TO GET RESULTS.”

AS WITH ALL SPORTS YOU WANT TO BE PLAYING YOUR BEST AT THE RIGHT TIME AND THE QUAKE ARE STARTING TO DO THAT. COACH OBERLIN GIVES AN INSIGHT INTO WHY THIS TEAM IS PLAYING AS GOOD AS THEY ARE AS SAYS THEY’RE GOING TO BE A HARD OUT FOR ANY TEAM.

“I THINK EVERYBODY WOULD AGREE IN THIS DIVISION THAT, I DON’T KNOW THAT I WOULD WANT TO PLAY A TEAM THAT HAS A GOALTENDER LIKE MICHAEL ALLMAN, IN A PLAYOFF SERIES. HIS ABILITY TO KEEP US IN GAMES WHEN WE DO HAVE BREAKDOWNS, WE’RE WELL AWARE OF WHAT HE DOES FOR US IN THE BACK THERE. THAT GIVES US CONFIDENCE KNOWING THAT IF WE CAN PUT UP A FEW GOALS, WE KNOW WE’VE GOT A PRETTY GOOD CHANCE OF WINNING THESE GAMES.”

COACH OBERLIN GOES ON TO TALK ABOUT HOW THAT IS A MENTAL ADVANTAGE.

“WE KNOW WHO WE HAVE BACK THERE AND WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO SCORE SOME ON THE POWER PLAY AND PUT SOME PUCKS IN THE BACK OF THE NET. IF WE DO THAT, WE PLAY STRONG DEFENSIVELY IN FRONT OF MICHAEL AND LET HIM SEE PUCKS, AND KEEP THOSE PUCKS TO THE OUTSIDE, THAT WE’VE GOT AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN EVERY GAME. OTHER TEAMS COMING IN, THAT HAVE CONSISTENTLY PLAYED AGAINST US KNOW THAT AS WELL. SO THAT’S A LITTLE SCARY I THINK.”

THE YELLOWSTONE QUAKE CONTINUE THEIR TOUGHEST STRETCH OF THE SEASON THIS SATURDAY WHEN THEY TRAVEL TO BOZEMAN FOR A FACE-OFF WITH THE ICE DOGS. PUCK DROPS AT 7:30PM.


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