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League rules on Quake goalie incident

Team forfeits three wins

Yellowstone Quake team officials announced they will be required to forfeit three wins as the result having an over-age player on their roster. The ruling was handed down this past weekend by the North Pacific Hockey League (NORPAC).

“We expected this,” said Quake head coach Craig Furstenau. “It didn’t come as a surprise to us.”

The league ruling should close the book on the bizarre saga of goaltender Anthony Tocco’s time with the club. In late October, the Quake signed Tocco, who at the time was presenting himself as a teenager named Nikoe Giacomo. The team used him in net in seven games during the season before being tipped off to his real age and identity.

The Quake won three of those seven games, but will now give back the victories. Bozeman, Missoula and Billings each pick up one victory as the result of the change.

“The league was satisfied with everything we’d done,” said Quake team president Bob Bole. “We’re just happy to have this behind us now.”

“As a team, I think we’ve handled the adversity well,” said Furstenau. “There’s a certain amount of resiliency with this group and I think they’ve been able to keep their focus through it. They’ve even been able to joke about it some and you’ll hear guys making quips about having their ID.”

While the NORPAC ruling has yet to be reflected in the league standings, the Quake know that they will now slide four games out of playoff position. With roughly half the season left to be played, Furstenau notes he isn’t worried about the team’s situation.

“We play Bozeman four times still,” he said. “If we take care of business in those games, we’re right where we want to be. It puts a little extra pressure on us in those games, but we still control our path.”

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