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Sports

Quake score solid win vs. Bozeman

Team falls in OT at Billings

The result may have been the same, but head coach Craig Furstenau was citing progress following a split of weekend action by the Yellowstone Quake hockey team last weekend. The Junior A team fell 5-4 in overtime at Billings before returning to Cody for a 5-1 win over Bozeman.

“We're not that far away,” Furstenau said following his team moving to 3-4 on the year. “We've seen everyone in the division now, and we're right there.”

That was evident in the team's first meeting with the Billings Bulls this season. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to overcome what Furstenau felt was some questionable officiating.

“Friday was a difficult situation,” the Quake head coach said. “We were on the short end of the officiating. We definitely did some things wrong, but we were up against two opponents.”

Nowhere was that situation more evident than in the waning minutes of regulation. After the two teams had alternated goals through the first 57 minutes, resulting in a 3-3 tie, Yellowstone's Tyler Torkelson knocked home a power play goal with just 2:07 remaining, giving the Quake their first lead of the night.

Within the next 30 seconds, the team was whistled for a pair of infractions.

“Neither penalty was legit,” Furstenau said of the calls. “But there we are, skating five on three. And when Billings pulls their goalie, it becomes a six-on-three situation.”

The inevitability of that math finally caught up with the Wyoming team as Billings slapped home the equalizing goal with 24 seconds remaining. It was the Bulls' only shot on goal of the third period. The Bulls went on to score the game-winner five minutes into extra time.

For the game, the Quake were cited for 17 infractions, resulting in 76 minutes of penalty time. The Bulls, by comparison, were whistled 10 times, serving 20 minutes of penalty time.

Torkelson, Michael Mackinnon and Andreas Olofsson scored the Quake's three other goals in the game. The score by Mackinnon gave him seven goals on the year.

Friday's game effects lingered into Saturdays game against Bozeman as NORPAC league officials suspended a pair of Quake players for the game against the Ice Dogs.

“We had a new defenseman come in from Detroit that morning —Chad Braun —and due to the suspensions, we actually had to use him that evening out on the ice,” said Furstenau. “It was an emergency sort of situation, but he went out there and did a really good job for us.”

Mathew Peddie and Olofsson each scored first-period goals to give the Quake a comfortable lead after the first 20 minutes. Bozeman cut into the margin a little more than three minutes into the second, but Tyler Roberts and Drew Parus each lit the lamp for the Cody-based team to make it 4-1.

Cody Farber's power-play goal for Yellowstone was the only score over the final 20 minutes. Quake goalkeeper Ryan Thomas turned away 26 of the 27 shots fired at him in goal.

“Top to bottom, it was a good game,” said Furstenau.

In addition to the arrival Braun, the Quake's defense received an additional boost of good news over the weekend as it was learned that defenseman Andrew Lord was returning to the squad. Lord, a NORPAC all-rookie selection last season, had been drafted by the fledgling Chicago Hitmen NAHL franchise in the spring, but was recently cut from the team's roster. The Quake wasted little time in grabbing a valued member of the previous year's team.

“The biggest thing for us is, with the addition of Chad and Andrew, it allows us to move some good skaters forward on the ice now,” said Furstenau. “We've got a lot of skill up front and those two guys will really help shore us up defensively. Our defense will improve and our forwards will improve.”

To make room on the roster for Braun and Lord, the Quake tendered a pair of players. Forward Matt Tackett, who had one goal this season for the Quake, was picked up by a Minnesota-based junior team. Forward Bobby LeBlanc was claimed by the Butte franchise.

The Yellowstone Quake return to action this weekend with a pair of road games. The team returns to Billings on Friday night before heading to Butte for a Saturday contest. The team's next home game takes place Oct. 30 when Billings comes to Cody's Riley Arena.

Missed football opportunities

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Powell's Cooper Wise (3) and another member of the Panthers' defensive unit team up to pull down a Worland ball carrier during Friday night's conference clash against the Warriors. Tribune photo by Ben Wetzel

Panthers let one slip against Worland

Previously winless Worland stunned the fourth-ranked Powell Panthers 21-18 on a wet Friday night. Looking to wrap up a spot in the 3A playoffs, PHS was instead left searching for answers to the question of how the contest slipped through their grasp.

Truth be told, there were no shortage of reasons.

Swimmers prepare for conference meet

It was the last home meet for the Powell Lady Panther swimmers, and they honored their seniors by taking a win 100-80 over Worland at the Powell Aquatic Center last week.

The meet produced one new state qualifier for the Lady Panthers when Brittany Christensen knocked more than 1.5 seconds from her time in the butterfly to earn her trip to Gillette. Alyssa Smith added a qualifying time to her resume in the breaststroke.

NWC men fall in OT to Otero

Despite playing a man up for more than a half, the Northwest College men's soccer team fell 2-1 in overtime to Otero on Saturday in the final home game of the year for the Trappers. The contest featured the first-ever meeting between Region IX's two newest soccer programs.

If first impressions count for anything, it may also be the start of a heated rivalry between the two schools. Match officials stepped in on multiple occasions to break up exchanges between players and, in more than one case, hand out yellow cards.

Much of the first half was played out near midfield as neither defense surrendered a clear look at the goal. The Trappers had their best chance of the first half just after the 20th minute, firing a low ball to the near post that the Otero keeper could only deflect over the end line. On the ensuing corner kick, the Trappers sent the ball high over the crossbar.

A short while later, Otero produced its best look of the first half, sending a low ball skidding along the wet grass in the box and forcing Northwest's keeper to his knees for the save.

With roughly 10 minutes to play in the first half, the Rattlers received a red card for questioning an officials' call in front of the Northwest College bench. The call gave Northwest an 11-on-10 advantage for the remainder of the contest and left Otero sagging to cover its defensive end for much of the remainder of the first half.

Despite the Trappers' man advantage, it was Otero that produced the first goal of the game. The Rattlers capitalized on a Northwest defense that sagged too far off the ball on the right wing. The Colorado school sent a low, driving shot across the box and off the far post for a goal and a 1-0 edge.

Northwest produced multiple chances to tie the contest as the second half wore on. Sophomore Gavin LaFollette shaved the left post with a shot atop the box. Northwest also blasted a couple shots just high of the crossbar as relations between the two teams on the field remained tense.

Cody sophomore Jonathon Chavez finally broke the ice on the Trappers' side of the ledger, tapping home a carom off the crossbar for the tying goal. Both keepers made diving stops to their left in the closing minutes to send the contest to overtime.

Northwest maintained pressure on goal early in the overtime period, failing to connect on an attempted header off a corner kick early in the extra frame. The Trappers managed a couple additional shots on net, but then made a costly error, failing to get back on defense fast enough in transition, surrendering a long run and crossing pass that Otero planted in the back of the net for the game-winner.

The loss was just Northwest's second of the season. It also marked the team's first loss in Region IX play.

The Trappers, 7-2-2 overall and 3-1-2 in the region, wrap up the regular season this Friday and Saturday. Northwest travels to Laramie County Community College on Friday before heading to Colorado on Saturday for a return game against Otero.

Post-season tournament play in Region IX will begin Friday, Oct. 22, in Scottsbluff, Neb. Depending on results from around the region this week, the Trappers will be anywhere from a one to a three seed for that event. The Region IX tournament winner advances to district competition for a shot at spot in the NJCAA national tournament.

Trappers battle for the ball

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Pueblo, Colo., freshman Olga Phelps jockeys for the ball during Wednesday morning soccer action between Northwest College and Western Nebraska. The games concluded too late to get full information into today's paper, but the Trapper women surrendered a pair of goals after scoring on a penalty kick to lose 2-1. The Northwest College men set up a Saturday showdown with Otero with a 4-2 victory over Western Nebraska. The game was the last home contest of the year for the Trapper women. NWC's men host Otero at 1 p.m., Saturday. Tribune photo by Toby Bonner

Trappers split home conference matches

Team tops Casper in five

The Northwest College Trapper volleyball team split a pair of matches this past week. The team took down Casper College in a rematch of last year's Region IX North title game 25-22, 22-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-13 before falling to fourth-ranked Western Wyoming in straight games 25-23, 25-18, 25-21.

The results leave the Trappers in third place in the Region IX North standings behind Western Wyoming and fellow national top-10 performer Laramie County Community College and just one game in front of a horde of challengers.

NWC spikers dig pink

NWC battles breast cancer, No. 7 LCCC this Saturday

The Northwest College Trappers will show up in pink this Saturday to do battle with seventh-ranked and Region IX North foe Laramie County Community College. The new look will be part of a national battle agaisnt breast cancer that head coach Flavia Siqueira and her players are doing their part to assist.

NWC rodeo wraps up fall season

Trappers have work ahead this spring

When collegiate rodeo action resumes in the spring, Northwest College bareback rider Jordan Gill will be the man everyone is trying to catch. At the midway point of the 2010-2011 college rodeo season, Gill holds a 179-point lead in the Big Sky Region standings.

If he can hold that position through five more rodeos this spring, Gill will be crowned the Big Sky Region champion and earn spot in the 2011 College National Finals Rodeo. If any of his Trapper teammates look to join him, they'll have some work to do over the back half of the year. Gill is the only Northwest College competitor to sit in the top three of an event at rodeo's mid-year break.

That's not to say the Trappers' entry list to the CNFR next June will be a short one. Several other Northwest College riders are well-positioned for a second-half surge.

Clinton Griffis sits fifth in the bareback standings, chasing Gill. He's staring at roughly a 170-point gap to close the ground between himself and the top three.

Bull riders Cayd Kluesner and Eric Fleming sit fourth and fifth, respectively in the standings. Kluesner is just 50 points out of an automatic spot in the CNFR field with Fleming another 27 points back.

On the women's side, Haily Hamlin sits as the Trappers' top performer through the fall semester. Hamlin is fifth overall in the breakaway roping standings, 132 points out of a CNFR qualification spot. Steffani Hofrichter is eighth overall in the standings.

Pamela Vanek is sixth overall in goat tying with a season score of 243.5 points. She'll need an improvement of more than 100 points this spring to bridge the distance in the standings. Hofrichter is ninth overall in the event.

Also looking at a gap of slightly more than 100 points is Trapper barrel racer Dannielle Marcin. Marcin presently resides in seventh position overall.

The only other Trappers to appear in the top 10 of an event at the midway point of the season are header-heeler team roping combo of Jessica Ehlers and Cole Owens. The duo is in 10th place with lots of traffic ahead of them in the standings.

Northwest College wrapped up first-semester rodeo action last weekend in Dillon, placing third as a men's team and fourth among the women's teams in attendance. Gill captured his second bareback title of the fall sememster with a 15-point win over Montana, Western's Chase Redfield.

Fleming placed third for the Trappers in bull riding at the weekend event. Vanek was third in goat tying to give Northwest their only top three finishers.

The collegiate rodeo season resumes in April. The Trappers will compete in five spring semester rodeos as they look to vault up the Big Sky Region standings.

747-8 buzzes Powell

Boeing plane over Powell Saturday

A new Boeing 747-8 flew over Powell around 10 a.m. Saturday, garnering plenty of surprise — but the plane was simply testing equipment.

Some folks thought the aircraft was coming in for a landing.

Gary Parham was at a Powell Middle School football game, when his son, Eric Parham said, “‘Look at that!'”

Homecoming celebration

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Powell's Vince Sleep scoops up the football after Anthony Lujan and an unseen teammate lay the lumber to Star Valley quarterback Logan Abrams during the first half of the Panthers' 24-19 Homecoming victory last Friday. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Big first quarter spurs Panthers past Braves

The fourth-ranked Powell Panthers used a trio of first-quarter touchdowns and a solid defensive effort to notch a 24-19 victory over Star Valley on Friday night. In the process, nine years of frustration against the Braves melted away.

“It's been a long time, I think, since we beat them,” said a happy Powell head coach Jim Stringer after the contest. “It's nice for the kids to get a win like this. It's a big win, not only because it's Homecoming, but it gets us to 2-0 in conference play as well.”

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