The Yellowstone Quake won an overtime thriller on New Years Eve, beating the Bozeman Icedogs 4-3 in a shootout.
Tied 3-3 after three periods of regulation and overtime, Dylan Rumpke sent home the winning goal in the second round of the shootout. The Ice Dogs then hit the post on their next shot, which clinched the Quake victory.
“I knew what I was going to do as soon as I went into it and I just read the goalie to make sure I had that backhand and it worked out,” Rumpke said.
The Quake have handed Bozeman (26-5-0) two of its five losses on the season and it appears a rivalry is forming between the two teams.
“Every game’s a dogfight basically,” Rumpke said. “It takes everything out of us when we play Bozeman.”
A certain rivalry within the rivalry has emerged between a few of the Quake players and Bozeman forward Luke Hartge, a former Quake player who requested to be traded last season.
“He left to be on a better team and now we’re giving it back to him,” Rumpke said.
Both Rumpke and Evan Snyder were tussling with Hartge all night. Hartge did score Bozeman’s second goal and assisted on another.
The game was played before a nearly sold out house at Riley Arena with 425 people in attendance. It is a Quake tradition to host the New Year’s game and this year’s edition did not disappoint.
New Cody residents Dan Janosko and Deanna Pike decided to make it out for their first ever Quake game. Janosko used to be an equipment manager for the University of Denver hockey program.
“(A Quake game is) completely different but a lot of fun,” Janosko said. “The game’s still the same.”
“You see a lot more people that you know here,” added Pike.
Clark residents Rick Gorniak and Roy Mercer built their New Year’s plans around the game and came over to Cody to see the wind, which Gorniak claims has higher gusts than Clark. Their next stop after game’s completion was the Irma.
“We’re just two old guys enjoying this,” Gorniak said of the game. “It’s a great thing to have this.”
Michael Allman led the Quake with 51 saves in goal. Despite letting Bozeman jump out to a 3-1 lead early in the first period, Allman buckled down for the remainder and never let a single puck cross his goal line.
“He had to dust the rust off too,” coach Phil Oberlin said. “But if you’ve got a couple goals to help him out, you’ve got a good chance of winning.”
The Icedogs outshot the Quake 54-31 on the night.
“We just kind of worked our way back as a team,” Allman said. “Everyone was blocking shots and just had a really good team effort.”
Tyler Cramer made it 3-2 in the second and then Will Yates netted the equalizer goal with 7:21 left in regulation on a power play. Yates beat Bozeman goalie Domagoj Troha over his left shoulder with a slap shot he sent from just inside the blue line.
“Last 10 minutes (in the game) we realized we have a real shot to win this one,” Snyder said. “I think that sparked everyone on the ice.”
Even the most casual observer could see the Quake wanted it bad. Late in the third and with his team shorthanded due to a penalty, Will Sobaski dove to block a shot that he successfully took it to the chest.
“Kind of playing that desperate hockey we’re going to need going down the second half (of the season) here,” Oberlin said.
Rumpke took a slow skate into the goal on his game-winner, before quickly sliding the puck past Troha on the backhand shot.
“That’s my move,” Rumpke said. “Even in practice, I do the same move every time.”
Yellowstone (11-18-2) then lost both games against Helena (7-25-0) on the road last weekend.
They started the weekend off on a rough note, falling 7-2 on Friday. Despite Rumpke scoring a goal just 14 seconds into the contest, Helena responded with six unanswered goals.
Rumpke and Jack Harris each finished with one goal and one assist.
On Saturday, the Quake fell behind early again and could not recover, losing 4-2 to the Bighorns. Cade Rosansky led Yellowstone with one goal and one assist.
The Quake return home this weekend against the Gillette Wild (15-17-0) Friday and Saturday. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. both nights.