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January 04, 2011 1:54 pm

Quake rumble into new year

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McKenzie Heaton and Matt Lantz (6) scuffle with a member of the Butte Roughriders during Friday night NORPAC hockey action. The Quake saw out 2010 with an 8-1 New Year’s Eve victory at Riley Arena. McKenzie Heaton and Matt Lantz (6) scuffle with a member of the Butte Roughriders during Friday night NORPAC hockey action. The Quake saw out 2010 with an 8-1 New Year’s Eve victory at Riley Arena. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Team batters Butte in first post-Christmas contest

Seven Yellowstone Quake players scored goals, including three during a four-minute span of the third period, as Wyoming’s only Junior A hockey team returned from the Christmas break with an 8-1 thrashing of Butte on New Year’s Eve. The game was the first action for both clubs in two weeks.

Evan Dixon scored a shorthanded goal 11 minutes into the first period to open the scoring for the Quake. Tyler Torkelson and TJay Lozier added goals before the first intermission, giving the Quake a 3-0 lead.

 

 

That margin would persist into the third period, despite the Quake out-shooting Butte by a 17-2 count in the second period. Matt Lantz finally broke the drought with a goal 2:31 into the third period. The Roughriders answered just eight seconds later, making it 4-1 on Calvin Landby’s first goal of the year.

The rest of the game belonged to the Quake.

John Baker scored an unassisted goal at the 6:26 mark. Twenty-nine seconds later, Drew Parus followed with the Quake’s sixth goal of the night. Zachary Tuchklaper slapped home a shot off a Torkelson feed with three minutes remaining and Dixon scored a power play goal with 90 seconds remaining to round out the scoring.

The Quake outshot Butte by a 49-17 margin in the contest.

On Saturday, the Quake matched up against America West division leader Helena, falling by a 4-1 final count. The visiting Big Horns scored twice in the first period and added lone tallies in the second and third periods to go ahead by a 4-0 count. The lone Quake goal came with just 15 seconds remaining on the clock as Michael Mackinnon sent home a powerplay shot to avert the shutout.

Helena out-shot the Quake 39-23, holding the host team to just nine shots in the first and second periods. Yellowstone played the game without a pair of defensemen it had come to rely on.

“Alex Vazquez was called up to the North American Hockey League over the holiday,” said Quake head coach Craig Furstenau. “Andrew Lord didn’t return from the break, so that hurts us in back.”

The Quake, now 12-19 for the year and sitting in fifth place in the America West standings, hit the road this weekend for a pair of games. The team travels to Billings on Friday night before heading to Bozeman on Saturday for a pivotal game against the Ice Dogs. Bozeman currently sits in fourth place, six points ahead of the Quake in the standings.

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