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Stampede Battle Ogden and Salt Lake City in 3 Game Match Up

By: Sophia Etier, Stampede Sports

Both the Ogden Mustangs and the Salt Lake City Moose took on Cheyenne this past weekend and despite an 0-3 record for the three games, the Stampede showed the great potential each of their players have. Throughout all 3 games there was no more than a 2 point difference in the final score and every game was neck to neck. Success is not always in the numbers and when the players show that they have the determination to fight full force for their logo no matter the score and they will play their hardest until the very last second, sometimes that's all that matters at the end of the night.

After this weekend's games, two Stampede forwards and one defenseman have recorded double digit points for the season so far. Forward Branko Oktavec is clocking in with 16 total points (11g, 5a) while defenseman Mitchell Mueller (4g, 7a) and forward Heath Lantz (2g, 9a) are tied at 11 each. Goaltender Corey Foster currently has a .883 save percentage with 263 total saves. Jacob Rudloff is the current PIM leader with 27 total penalty minutes as of date.

It is still early in the season, and if you look at the players individually, there is a great amount of talent in Cheyenne's roster. For example last year, Oktavec had 49 points in 44 games and Lantz had 57 points in 42. This is a very young group of skaters and they are still trying to find a team rhythm. A majority of the players are in their first years of junior hockey and it will take a while for the rookies to find team chemistry with the 9 or so veterans. Once the team finds their groove, I believe, they will hit the ice running. They will most certainly be a powerful presence in the WSHL.

I was able to ask Coach Matt Lantz a few questions over the weekend and here is what he had to say!:

SE: At this point, what is the future looking like for the Stampede?

Coach Lantz: We are being optimistic about the future for our team and still trying to figure out what works best for this group of kids. But in the long run no team wins championships in October

SE: Going into next weekend's games against the Rough Riders and the Eagles, will there be any changes made to the team?

Coach Lantz: Going into this week's games there will be some changes to systems and overall style of play and player personnel

This was Breast Cancer Awareness weekend and the next two games the Stampede will play will be in Colorado on October 29th against the Colorado Jr Eagles and November 1st against the Colorado Rough Riders. Best of luck Stampede!

(Photo credit to Vicki Kiefer Dowdy)

Head Coach Eric Ballard
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