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Cheyenne Cruises Through 2014 WSHL Showcase - Junior Hockey News

By: Sophia Etier, Stampede Sports
Traveling to Las Vegas, everything was uncertain for the entire WSHL. This was an opportunity for teams to turn their entire season around or to forge a new path for themselves in hopes of making an early playoff run. The entire week was unpredictable and it was a prize for anyone's taking. Records were a mere factor of what teams could bring to the table, more importantly, it was levels of ambition and perseverance that set organizations apart. After four days of play, the Stampede were able to win three out of their four games and they were also able to make quite an impact on their out of division rivals. 

As to not make this article full of statistics, here are the final scores of each day: 

December 17th, 2014: At San Diego; 8:00 AM start time (Las Vegas Ice Center North)
RESULT: Stampede 6 - Gulls 1 (Goals from Heath Lantz, Craig Thurston (2), Branko Oktavec, Drake DeBerry, and Jack Speer)Goaltender: Corey Foster (20 saves out of 21 shots)

December 18th, 2014: Vs. Ontario; 10:00 AM start time (Las Vegas Ice Center South)
RESULT: Stampede 4 - Avalanche 1 (Goals from Craig Thurston, Garrett Hughes, Michael Ballard, and Max Legere) Goaltender: Egor Riabchikov (36 saves out of 37 shots) 

December 19th, 2014: At Seattle; 7:45 AM start time (Las Vegas Ice Center North)
RESULT: Stampede 5 - Totems 0 (Goals from Jack Speer, Cody Key, Branko Oktavec, Jeremy Szczurek, and Heath Lantz) Goaltender:Corey Foster (21 saves out of 21 shots)

December 20th, 2014: Vs. Whitefish; 8:30 AM start time (SoBe Ice Arena at Rancho Fiesta)
RESULT: Stampede 2 - Wolverines 5 (Goals from Sebastian Crystal and Garrett Hughes) Goaltender: Egor Riabchikov (11 saves out of 16 shots)

The Stampede skaters earned their time in the victory lane with consistent hard work, and it will be an easy guess that those types of wins and games will carry over to the rest of Cheyenne's season throughout 2015. This showcase was certainly a lifting point for the team and they are going into the new year stronger than ever. Cheyenne will be back on home ice for their first series of 2015 and it will span January 2nd-4th. Their opponents will be the Ogden Mustangs and the Salt Lake City Moose. Puck drop times are 7:35 pm (January 2nd and 3rd) as well as 1:00 pm (January 4th). Don't miss out on any of the new and surprising action the Stampede will be bring to Cheyenne! Best of luck!

Stampede Witness Big Win Before Showcase

By: Sophia Etier, Stampede Sports
In the weekend before the WSHL's Showcase, the Colorado Evolution traveled to Cheyenne to take on the Stampede in a one-game series. As each Stampede skater walked out of the rink after the last home game of 2014, they could successfully pat themselves on the back after a night of hard work that led them to a 7-3 victory over the Evolution. Looking at the WSHL's Special Teams, the Stampede are ranked 6th overall for power play percentage (23.21%), 15th overall for the penalty kill (80.39%), and 6th overall for average attendance at 499. 

During Saturday's game, the Stampede saw goals from Nolan Kinney (2), Jeremy Szczurek, Heath Lantz, Craig Thurston (2), and Michael Ballard. Assists came from Cody Key (4), Michael Ballard (2), Sebastian Crystal, Nolan Kinney (2), Markus Bergsten, Heath Lantz, and Jeremy Szczurek. Nolan Kinney was the weekend's Penalty Minute Leader as he racked up 6 penalty minutes on 3 infractions against Colorado. Both of Cheyenne's goaltenders, Donovan Roy and Egor Riabchikov, guarded the cage against the Evolution's skaters and prevented 29 shots on goal out of 32. Roy saw 36:31 minutes of ice time whereas Riabchikov saw the remaining 23:29. 

Now, the Stampede will head into 2015 on a regular season win streak but they are still not over with what 2014 has in store for them. As I stated above, the Stampede will be participating in the WSHL's annual Showcase where all 28 of the league's teams are to travel to Las Vegas for the annual four day showcase where teams battle out-of-division organizations in match ups that will test talent as well as the ability to adapt and change in order to equally match multiple opponents. They will be taking on two California teams (the San Diego Gulls and Ontario Avalanche) as well as two teams from the Northwest Division (Seattle Totems and Whitefish Wolverines). I have recently posted the Stampede's schedule for the weekend but I will rewrite it as a helpful reminder:

December 17th, 2014: At San Diego; 8:00 AM start time (Las Vegas Ice Center North) 
December 18th, 2014: Vs. Ontario; 10:00 AM start time (Las Vegas Ice Center South)
December 19th, 2014: At Seattle; 7:45 AM start time (Las Vegas Ice Center North)
 
December 20th, 2014: Vs. Whitefish; 8:30 AM start time (SoBe Ice Arena at Rancho Fiesta)

Best of luck Cheyenne! 

(Photo Credit to Vicki Kiefer Dowdy)

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