THE 2018-19 PLAYOFFS ARE HERE
The Utah Outliers are officially through the regular season, and now prepare for the 2018-19 WSHL playoffs. Coming in to the playoffs, the Outliers established a 33-15-2-1 record, good for second place in the Mountain Division and seventh in the entire league. Fans may remember that last year Utah came in as the number one team in the Mountain Division and number three in the league, and had a very lengthy playoff run, ultimately ending up in the Thorne Cup Championships. The boys came up just short, however it was still a fantastic season, and now it is redemption time this season. The first series for the Outliers will be against opponents the Casper Bobcats. This Casper team is no stranger to playing in Utah, as these foes have battled 9 times this season. The Outliers swept the season series, with the last three games being handled in dominating fashion. The home team will hope to keep that momentum rolling as the best of three series begins tonight.
KEYS TO THE SERIES – UTAH
The Outliers will be looking to continue the recent trend of relentlessly wearing down opponents with a balanced and deep scoring attack, while not surrendering an inch on defense. The age-old adage “defense wins championships” is typically true when it comes to playoffs, and has been a big component to Utah’s previous playoff runs. Both Oscar Wahlgren and Charles-Olivier Lepage will look to be the x-factor throughout the playoffs, trusting that their teammates will handle business on the other end. Up front, Matt Bartel and Nicholas Ness hope to continue their offensive prowess. Both forwards shared a tie with 34 goals this season. The defenseman for the Outliers also showcased their offensive abilities, with three players (Jake Papesh, Dylan Dix, Jakub Lelek) earning 31 points, and Tristan Slot adding 28 of his own.
KEYS TO THE SERIES – CASPER
The Bobcats are coming in to the series with a never-say-die attitude, and nothing to lose. After surrendering the season series without winning a game, Casper will be coming in to the series playing with a “why not us” mentality. Their main objectives will be to find a way to get some offense against the stout Utah defense and goaltenders. Only scoring 2 goals in the previous series, it was tough for the offense to gain confidence if they cannot get pressure in the Utah end. At certain points, it was difficult for the Bobcats to get into Outlier territory, allowing the boys in black free range to dictate gameplay. If Casper is to stand a chance in a best of three series, they will need to find a way to get the puck on their sticks more often.
The winner of the #2 UTAH OUTLIERS vs.#3 CASPER BOBCATS series will go on to the Mountain Division Finals to take on the winner of the #1 OGDEN MUSTANGS vs. #4 Steamboat Wranglers. With the Thorne Cup Championship taking place in Ogden, UT this season, it is vital for one of these three teams to upend the ‘Stangs in order of snagging a spot in the final six teams. As mentioned prior, this set is a best of three, with game one taking place at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 6:30 PM. If necessary, a game three will take place at noon on Sunday. Make sure to come out and support the Outliers as this weekend will be the last round of home series games until the 2019-20 season. Also keep an eye out on social media for more information regarding the WSHL playoffs.