by Website Admin

The Utah Outliers are busy preparing for playoffs. The team is energized and excited about the opportunity to repeat as 4X Mountain Division Champions.

This season the Outliers will enter the Mountain Division playoffs as the No.2 seed, having finished in second place during the regular season with 76 points. The team finished the season on a high note and hopes to carry its momentum into the post-season.

"Heading into the playoffs we are fueled by determination and driven by a collective belief in our potential. Our expectations are high and we are ready to show what we are made of as we pursue a championship." -  Assistant Captain, Makar Klochkov.

The Outliers have been fine-tuning their game plan as they prepare for Round 1 against the Provo Predators. The coaches have been running the players through some intense training sessions and tweaking some small details within their strategy. The team has chosen to stick to its regular practice schedule and keep its foot on the gas so it can be primed and ready come game time. 

One of Utah's greatest assets this season has been the fact that they have a strong balance of talent throughout their lineup. That team depth has played a big factor in the club's success as they have received consistent contributions from every position. 

Assistant Coach Richard Bohan had this to say, "We are a well-balanced team that plays efficiently on both sides of the puck. Our commitment to playing the right way and with sound structure will help us excel in the playoffs. Our guys have a high compete level and I am very confident they will rise to the challenge." 

Offensively, Utah has shown its offensive depth across the lineup. The club finished with 189 goals which was fourth best in the NCDC. The team's ability to spread out its scoring and rely on a variety of players for offensive contributions has proved to be challenging for opponents.  

Defensively, the Outliers ranked among the top teams in the NCDC, allowing only 139 goals-against during the regular season. This is a strong reflection of the club's commitment to playing a 200 ft. game and the team's talented defenseman and rock-solid goaltenders.  

Outliers forward Evan England likes what he has seen from his teammates this season and realizes what a great opportunity playoffs present for them all. "Our group is extremely prepared and pumped up for playoffs. We know the winning history of this franchise and we also know what is on the line. We are eager for the opportunity to take home the Dineen Cup."  

As with every playoff season, goaltending will play a critical role and the Outliers are in good hands having a solid trio in net with Phil Rondina, Dryden DeMelo, and Sam Straff.

Rondina, who joined the team early in the season and has proven he can rise to the occasion, views the playoffs as a new chapter for the team. "It's the start of a new season for all of us and we know our team is capable of going deep into the playoffs. We will need to bring a consistent effort every night and I believe if we do that we are destined for success."  

Winning in the playoffs requires a lot of sweat and sacrifice. If the Outliers are to repeat as 4X Mountain Division Champions the team will need to execute on its fundamentals and stick to its identity. There is no shortcut to success at this time of the year and Utah clearly understands that the stakes are high and the rewards are great. 

"Playing in the playoffs is the most exciting part of the season because it is a war of attrition and will. Every game has so much meaning and the emotions and stakes are high. We are a hungry team, we have strong team chemistry and I know we will bring our A-game when it matters most. I believe this team is built to win." Head Coach Paul Taylor. 

The Outliers are poised and confident to begin their playoff run as they chase down their fourth consecutive Mountain Division title and challenge for the NCDC Dineen Cup. Now they will have to step up their game and find that winning formula when it matters most. Let the games begin!