The Yellowstone Quake earned a 5-3 comeback win over Great Falls on Friday night thanks to some opportunistic playmaking.
After falling behind 3-1, the Quake scored four unanswered goals and held the Americans scoreless for the final 24:51 of game time for the win.
During that stretch, the Quake got Great Falls (18-11-1) to commit 11 penalties for 40 minutes while Yellowstone (9-18-1) only had one for two minutes. The Quake took advantage, scoring three of their four goals during this stretch on the power play.
“The execution from that was awesome,” said coach Phil Oberlin.
Five different players scored for the Quake and Jack Harris and Dylan Rumpke chipped in three assists apiece.
After Yellowstone scored the only goal in the first period, Great Falls bounced back to make it 3-1.
Yellowstone’s defense cracked down, and Joe McCormick found the net on a power play with 53 seconds left in the second to spark a comeback.
“Everyone is really coming together,” McCormick said. “We’re getting solid contributions from all three lines.”
Just 50 seconds into the new period, Cade Rosansky followed that up with his own power play goal to tie it up 3-3, and then Max Jacoshenk scored with 8:45 remaining to give the Quake the lead. Keegan Ferguson added the final insurance goal on another power play at 7:04 on an assist from Harris and Rumpke.
“We really capitalized on the power play,” Rosansky said.
Connor Carroll made 26 saves in goal.
“Carroll was playing great all night,” Oberlin said. “As a team we’re playing more defensively, just doing a good job eliminating those second and third opportunities.”
On Saturday, the penalties went the other way for the Quake and they fell 7-2 to Great Falls.
“They flipped the script from Friday night,” Oberlin said. “When we got a lot of penalties they took advantage of it.”
The game was tied 1-1 after the first, but in the second the Americans broke it open, scoring the next six goals. During that span, the Quake were called for twice as many penalties and penalty minutes as Great Falls.
Aiden Croce and Harris scored the Quake’s two goals.
After the Quake outshot the Americans on Friday night, Great Falls struck back with much more offense on Saturday, outshooting Yellowstone 58-26.
Matt Schoer made 51 saves in goal for the Quake.
Yellowstone returns home next weekend against Butte (4-21-2). McCormick said he is looking at the series as a must-sweep, as they sit 8 ½ games outside the fourth and final playoff spot with only 12 games remaining.
“We need to sweep them,” he said. “We need to gain a lot of games quickly.”
Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Riley Arena.