3View: Yellowstone Quake
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2023-24 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2023-24 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2022-23 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
Head Coach: Don Babineau (5th season)
2022-23 Record: 47 GP, 13-28-6, 32 pts. (7th in Frontier)
2022-23 Leading Scorer: Brayson Bennett (40 points)
2023 Playoffs: Did not qualify
2023-24 Division: Frontier Division
After a challenging season for the Yellowstone Quake where they finished 7th in the Frontier Division with a record of 13-28-4 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year, the Quake are entering the upcoming season with renewed determination and a clean slate.
Guiding them will be newly acquired head coach, Don Babineau. With him he brings a wealth of experience in coaching junior hockey, which includes multiple years in the NA3HL. His leadership and vision are set to steer Yellowstone towards a promising season ahead.
Coach Babineau shared his aspirations for the team. "I have been fortunate enough to coach in the NA3HL and participate in the playoffs multiple seasons, which will help the approach on what we are trying to accomplish this season by making playoffs and making an honest run."
In his four years coaching in the NA3HL, he has qualified for the Fraser Cup Playoffs three of those seasons.
With just six players returning from last year's squad, Yellowstone’s roster has a plethora of new faces. Despite that, the team still boasts a solid core of veterans ready to lead by example and produce. Sebe Perez, Zach Orwig, and Joey Good will provide experience and skill up front, while Owen Schoonover and John Kotsidilis will anchor the defense. In the net, John Hughes will assume the responsibilities. Coach Babineau believes that this group of returning players will not only help achieve team goals but also elevate the newcomers quickly.
Although they will miss the talents of Sam Perdion, their 7th overall pick in the 2023 Draft, the Quake have high hopes for Daxton Burdak, their other first-round draft pick (34th overall). Burdak, expected to be a major contributor on the blue line, is poised to make a significant impact during the upcoming season. Not to mention, the Quake's roster received a notable addition in the form of Max Rotsaert, acquired from the Oregon Tradesmen. Rotsaert, who was the Tradesmen's third-leading scorer with 52 points, including 22 goals and a plus-44 rating, is expected to bring a substantial offensive boost to the Quake's lineup.
As it usually is in hockey, the game plan is simple. And that is exactly what Babineau preached when describing what he was looking for out of his group this season. “The mindset is to out work every team. We will pride ourselves on good habits and the mindset is to be atop of the division by Christmas. We have many newcomers that have already bought in as well as the returners on a mission. This should be a fun ride with this group.”
As the Yellowstone Quake embark on another season in the NA3HL, they do so with the hope of resurrecting their playoff hopes and making a mark in the league. With Coach Babineau's leadership and dedication, the Quake are poised for an exciting season.
They face off this Friday (9/8) in Great Falls, and hit home ice for the first time the following Friday (9/15) against Helena.