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Colorado Opponents Battle Stampede in Weekend Competition

By: Sophia Etier, Stampede Sports
This weekend packed quite the amount of action for the Stampede but that was also paired with an exponential amount of team growth shown. On November 21st, the Colorado Evolution drove into Cheyenne, and on the 22nd, the tables were turned and the Stampede were the out-of-town rivals to the Colorado Jr Eagles. After a great 3 periods of hockey, the Evolution went back to Denver after being scored on eight times by Heath Lantz, Cody Key, Craig Thurston, Branko Oktavec, and Jeremy Szczurek and shut out by Egor Riabchikov. During their stay in Windsor, Colorado, Cheyenne unfortunately suffered a 6-2 loss. Lantz and Nolan Kinney were the only ones to score on Eagles goaltender Quinn Wold. With the additions of DeBerry, Taylor, and Riabchikov, you can certainly tell that these players were some of the missing puzzle pieces needed for the team the to see a more complete final picture. After these few games this weekend, you can see an undeniable strengthening in the team connection as well as a better balance throughout the roster. 

Cheyenne has risen to 10th overall in the WSHL Special Team rankings for power play percentage with 22.73% and 15th overall for penalty kill percentage which is at 79.52%. Branko Oktavec continues to sit comfortably as the Stampede's top point leader with 26 total points. He is trailed by Heath Lantz (22 pts) Cody Key (16 pts) and Jeremy Szczurek (14 pts). Michael Ballard has beaten Bailey Shaver out for the title of PIM leader with 33 penalty minutes and goaltender Egor Riabchikov has improved to a .898 save percentage along with only 3.25 goals against average. It should also be noted that in the 21st's game, Heath Lantz was able to record a hat trick against the Evolution. Lantz's third goal of the game was scored at 18:14 in the third period and came in the form of a short handed goal. 

The Stampede will be back this Friday and Saturday night, November 28th and 29th, when the Stampede head to the Evolutions ice for a heated rematch series. Puck drop for both nights is scheduled for 7:30 pm MST and these games will surely blow anyone in the stands away so don't miss out! Looking at games coming up, the teams that will be taking on the Stampede are the Colorado RoughRiders (December 5th and 6th), the Colorado Evolution (December 13th), and the Ogden Mustangs/Salt Lake City Moose (January 2nd, 3rd, and 4th). 

(Photo Credit to Vicki Kiefer Dowdy)

Emily Stevens, Miss Wyoming Collegiate America to make appearance

Friday Night, Nov. 21st, Miss Wyoming Collegiate America, Emily Stevens will be dropping the ceremonial puck and signing autographs at the Checks Autograph Party(Post-Game).

Miss Wyoming Collegiate America 2015 is Emily Stevens. Emily is a native of Cheyenne and graduated from East High School in 2013. Emily is now attending Laramie County Community College where she is working to get her degree in nursing. She one day hopes to work as an intensive care nurse. During Emily’s reign as Miss Wyoming Collegiate she would like to be active in the community and around the state bringing awareness to suicide and bullying. In July she will be traveling to Orlando, Florida to represent Wyoming in the Miss Collegiate America pageant.

Head Coach Eric Ballard
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