Yellowstone Quake Plays Gillette the First Round of the Playoffs

Written by on March 2, 2020

AFTER EARNING A WEEKEND SPLIT WITH THE GILLETTE WILD THE YELLOWSTONE QUAKE HAVE CLINCHED THE NUMBER 4 SEED FOR THE PLAYOFFS. THE QUAKE DISMANTLED GILLETTE FRIDAY EVENING ON THEIR WAY TO AN 8-5 VICTORY. YELLOWSTONE FINISHED THE SEASON WINNING TWO OF THEIR FINAL THREE GAMES.

THE QUAKE HAVE COME A LONG WAY SINCE LAST YEAR. AFTER MANAGING JUST 5 WINS ALL OF LAST SEASON THE QUAKE FINISHED THIS SEASON WITH A 19-25-2-1 OVERALL RECORD. EARNING THE 4 SEED FOR THE PLAYOFF IS A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR THIS YOUNG TEAM. HEAD COACH PHIL OBERLIN ON THE TURNAROUND.

“IT’S JUST THE GUYS THAT WERE WILLING TO COME BACK AND BELIEVED IN WHAT WE WANTED TO DO. EVEN WITH WINNING FIVE GAMES, THOSE GUYS, A LOT OF THEM DECIDED TO COME BACK CAUSE THEY WANTED TO BE BACK HERE AND WANTED TO KIND OF FINISH WHAT THEY STARTED AS A GROUP. THEN AGAIN, OBVIOUSLY, ADDING SOME PLAYERS THAT ADDED SOME DEPTH FOR THIS YEAR. SO IT’S ALL ON THEM, THEY DID A GREAT JOB THIS YEAR TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY WERE READY TO GO AND READY TO COMPETE EVERY GAME.”

HEADING INTO THEIR FIRST ROUND MATCH-UP THEY WILL FACE-OFF AGAINST THE GILLETTE WILD IN A BEST-OF-3 SERIES. THE WILD WILL BE HOME ON THURSDAY WITH THE QUAKE HOME FRIDAY AND THEN SATURDAY, IF NEEDED. COACH OBERLIN PREVIEWS THE FIRST ROUND SERIES.

“SPECIAL TEAMS IS GOING TO PLAY A HUGE PART IN IT. THEY HAVE A GOOD POWER PLAY. THEY HAVE A COUPLE OF GUYS THAT CAN REALLY PUT THE PUCK IN THE NET, JUST LIKE US AND THEY PLAY REALLY SIMILAR. WE JUST NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE LOCKING DOWN DEFENSIVELY. WE’VE TALKED ABOUT THAT THE LAST FEW WEEKS, IS WE’VE STARTED TO GIVE UP A LOT OF GOOD SCORING CHANCES TO OUR OPPONENTS. SO THAT’S SOMETHING THAT WE’RE GOING TO TRY AND TWEAK AND FIX GOING INTO THIS. IT SHOULD BE A FUN WEEKEND, A FUN SERIES TO WATCH. A LOT OF GOALS PROBABLY GOING TO BE SCORED. WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.”

TAKING A LOOK AT HOW THE TWO TEAMS FARED HEAD-TO-HEAD THIS SEASON. THE QUAKE WON THE SEASON SERIES GOING 3-2-1 AGAINST GILLETTE. AGAIN BOTH TEAMS SPLIT THE FINAL WEEKEND SERIES AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. COACH OBERLIN CALLS THE FIRST GAME THURSDAY EVENING THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE OF THE SERIES.

“A THREE GAME SERIES, WHOEVER WINS THAT FIRST GAME KIND OF HAS THE STRANGLEHOLD AT THAT POINT CAUSE THEN YOU’RE ABLE TO ESSENTIALLY GO INTO THAT NEXT GAME GOING, ‘OK IF WE WIN THIS WE PUT IT AWAY.’ IF YOU END UP LOSING THAT FIRST GAME THEN YOU’RE KIND OF UP AGAINST IT RIGHT AWAY. THAT INTENSITY LEVEL HAS TO RISE FOR TWO STRAIGHT GAMES. WHEREAS, IF YOU CAN GET THAT FIRST GAME, YOU’RE NOT STRESSING ABOUT, ‘OK THIS IS AN ELIMINATION GAME.’ YOU HAVE THAT CONFIDENCE TO BE ABLE TO GO, OK WE CAN KNOCK THEM OUT. THAT FIRST GAME IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.”

IF THE QUAKER ARE TO COME AWAY SUCCESSFUL AND CONTINUE THIS GREAT SEASON COACH OBERLIN SAYS IT ALL STARTS WITH DEFENSE.

“I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE OUR PENALTY KILL, ALONG WITH TEAM DEFENSE. WE DON’T SCORE IN BUNCHES SO WE HAVE TO BE A GOOD SOLID DEFENSIVE TEAM AND THEN SCORE ON OUR OPPORTUNITIES. WHEN WE GIVE FOUR OR MORE GOALS WE ARE 5-20. IF WE GIVE A LOT OF GOALS WE DON’T FAIR VERY WELL. IF WE’RE ABLE TO BLOCK SHOTS AND COMMIT TO THE DEFENSIVE END THAT MEANS WE WERE 13-4 WHEN WE GIVE UP LESS THAN FOUR GOALS. WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT OUR TEAM IDENTITY IS.”

THE QUAKE BEGIN THEIR QUEST FOR THE FRASER CUP THIS WEEKEND AGAINST GILLETTE IN WHAT COACH OBERLIN CALLS THE CODY WYOMING MEGA BOWL. ALL THE ACTION GETS UNDERWAY THURSDAY IN GILLETTE AT 7:05PM.

“WE WOULD JUST LOVE AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN GET INTO THE RINK, WOULD BE AWESOME. THESE GUYS CAN USE AS MUCH SUPPORT AS THEY CAN GET. THEY WORK HARD EVERY GAME. IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE A GOOD FAN BASE IN THEIR FRIDAY NIGHT AND THANK YOU TO ALL THE FANS THAT COME AND HAVE BEEN SUPPORTIVE ALL YEAR. DEFINITELY APPRECIATE THAT. WE’D LIKE TO GET PRETTY ROWDY FRIDAY NIGHT, 7:30. IT’D BE AWESOME TO HAVE A FULL REILLY ARENA FOR THE GUYS TO GET THAT EXPERIENCE AND PLAY IN FRONT OF THEIR FIRST HOME PLAYOFF GAME.”

GAME TIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

THURSDAY MARCH 5TH- AT GILLETTE. PUCK DROPS AT 7:05PM.

FRIDAY & SATURDAY- HOME VS. GILLETTE. PUCK DROPS AT 7:30PM.

FOR MORE ON SPORTS IN THE BIG HORN BASIN FOLLOW THE KODI FACEBOOK PAGE. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW COLE HAVENS ON TWITTER. @C_havens22


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