OUTLIERS RETURN TO ACTION TO BEGIN 2019
After partaking in the WSHL showcase in Las Vegas, NV December 18-21, the Utah Outliers went into the holiday season earning a much-deserved break. Winning 2 of 3 games at the showcase, the Outliers ended the first half of the season on a positive note. Coming into the second portion of the year, Utah will look to continue the trend of previous seasons and ramp up the intensity and catch fire as the team eyes the playoffs. This weekend, the Outliers welcome in the Mountain Division Casper Bobcats. Although Casper has had some struggles this season, the Bobcats are also riding a nice momentum wave, winning 2 of 3 at the showcase, and 6 out of their past 9 games. The streak started after the previous meeting against Utah, where the Bobcats were swept in three games and outscored 15-5.
KEYS FOR THE WEEKEND:
For Utah, the focus will be on continuing the recent scoring trend that began at the showcase. The Outliers were able to put up 17 goals in the 3 games, breaking the trend of inconsistency the team has shown in finding the back of the net. Another aspect will be to make sure that the offensive rate increasing does not come with the defense sacrificing goals against. The average goals against the first half of the season was around 2 goals per game (through 28 games), however at the showcase the average through three games went up to 3 goals against. Utah will need to find a way to keep the offensive pressure up while maintain their traditional stalwart defending.
The Bobcats will be focusing on continuing to battle a full sixty minutes. Casper had the headline in day one in Las Vegas, battling back from 2 and 3 goal deficits to win their first game, and the visiting team has found ways to stay in games and always make things interesting. They are a dangerous team when their opponents cannot find a way to score. Utah fans may remember that in the last meeting between these foes, in game two Casper held a 1-0 lead going into the final period and even held a 2-0 lead at one point before the Outliers were able to find their groove, ultimately sealing the victory.
The team is fired up and ready to get back to work this weekend, hoping to pick up steam and earn 9 points to start off 2019 and the second half of the year. With 20 games remaining (6 home / 14 away) the team is hoping for a quick jump to show the rest of the league that they are a serious contender for the Thorne Cup Championship. Don’t miss the action set to take place at the Acord Ice Arena Friday at 7:00 PM, 6:30 PM Saturday, and 12:00 PM Sunday.