The Cheyenne Stampede celebrated their one year anniversary on Oct. 15 2012 at the Cheyenne Ice and Events Center while also holding the team media day. The Stampede kicked off their anniversary with a press conference featuring both General Manager Mark Lantz and Head Coach Marty Quarters giving statements about the team and introducing the players.
The Cheyenne Stampede is a member of the Western States Hockey League, and play within the Mountain Conference. General Manager Mark Lantz stated that this is one of the toughest conferences and the team will play against tough opponents such as the Phoenix Knights, who they open their season against on Oct. 19, the Arizona Redhawks, the El Paso Rhinos, the Boulder Bison, and the New Mexico Renegades.
While the Stampede has several familiar faces, the coaching staff also recruited many new players. These include home grown Sam Mallory, as well as Czech Republic product Daniel Cipila in net. “I feel we have two starting goalies that we feel confident in rotating game in and game out with a chance to win every night.” New offensive players like Russell Armbruster, Noah Eckebrecht, and Kevin Rosset will give some added firepower to the returning players such as Ryan Carroll, Drew Baggen, and Heath Lantz. “On offense we like our speed and skill plus our size which enables us to play a physical style of hockey” Quarters mentioned. Assistant coach Ty Smith stated that the team is more well rounded than last year, and has a lot of depth. This depth includes their sizeable and tough defensive core which has returning players such as Dorran Masters, as well as newcomers such as Swedish born Dario Trupina and Ian Johnson.
Both Coach Quarters and Mark Lantz expressed hope that the team will have a definite home advantage with the ice rink being at 6200 feet, which makes it one of the highest points of play in the WSHL. The team has been training hard, both on and off the ice. The team practices are highly intense, with an emphasis on skating. The team also makes extensive use out of Smart Sports, where the team trains on a near daily basis.
The Cheyenne Stampede also play a large part in helping grow hockey in Cheyenne. With player assistance as well as help from the coaching staff, the Stampede routinely help during practices with the Cheyenne Capitals Youth Hockey Association. Many Capitals families are billet families for members of the Stampede. On the subject, Quarters had this to say, “Having players live with younger players helps grow stronger hockey players and it gives them a goal to work for of someday playing for the Stampede.”
The Cheyenne Stampede will begin their season against the Phoenix Knights on Oct. 19-21 at home. The Friday and Saturday games begin at 7:35 p.m., and the Sunday game starts at 1 p.m. The Knights are a tough opponent, but everyone involved with the Stampede cannot wait to get the season underway.
Story by Matthew Humphrey, Cheyenne Stampede Staff Writer
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