The Cheyenne Stampede finished their weekend with a win on Sunday Oct. 21 against the Phoenix Knights by a score of 6-3. The game was the Stampede’s third game in three days, and saw the team walk away with five out of six points on the weekend. The Stampede played their first game Friday Oct. 19 and fell in overtime by a score of 4-3, and bounced back on Saturday Oct. 20 beating the Knights 6-3.
The Cheyenne Stampede’s power play led the way to their Oct. 21 victory, as the team went four for six on the day, and helped propel the team to their second win of the 2012-13 season. The Stampede got the scoring rolling with a power play goal from Kevin Rosset, with assists coming from Dorran Masters, and Ryan Carroll only seven minutes into the game. Phoenix then converted on a power play to even the score at 1-1 going into the second. The Stampede surrendered a shorthanded goal early in the second period, but then scored on the same power play, to bring the score back even to 2-2. The goal came from Trevor Zakrajsek with assists coming from Ryan Demyen and Josh Greenaker.
The Stampede power play continued to click, as they tallied two more goals in the second with the man advantage, first with a goal from Ryan Demyen who was assisted by Ian Johnson and Dorran Masters, and then with a goal from Ryan Carroll who received the puck from Kevin Rosset. Phoenix scored one more goal before the end of the second, but they were never able to come back as the Stampede clinched the game with two more goals in the third, one from Ryan Demyen, and empty netter from Noah Eckebrecht.
The game saw the Stampede solidify themselves as legitimate contenders in the WSHL. The team saw a bit of everything during the weekend, but Coach Marty Quarters said, “We need to keep improving, we want to get all six points every weekend. We’re forming an identity.” Assistant Coach Ty Smith commented on Sunday’s game as well, saying, “We came out flying, things got hectic in the second, but we got back to our game, and forechecked hard.”
Saturday, Oct. 20 saw Quarters rally his team following the overtime loss the previous night, and appealed to the team to stay aggressive and stick to their game. The team responded by coming out fast and hard in the first period of play, and got on the board first with a goal from Thayne Trumbull assisted by Drew Baggen at 3:05 into the first period. Phoenix responded at the nine minute mark, and the game was tied going into the second period.
The second period saw the Stampede get a four minute power play following a high sticking double minor only seconds into the period. The Stampede power play wasted no time going to work as Dario Trupina unleashed a rocket from the point that beat the Phoenix goaltender on the far side. Russell Armbruster had the assist on the goal. Not thirty seconds later, on the second part of the power play, Kevin Rosset brought the puck in alone and scored to give the Stampede a 3-1 lead after an unbelievable individual effort. The latter half of the second period saw the Phoenix team come back, scoring two goals in a penalty filled ten minutes to end the second period.
The Stampede settled things down in the third period, and showcased their offensive flair. Alex Johansons scored a goal with an assist from hometown boy Heath Lantz and Ryan Demyen. This was followed only minutes later by a goal from Heath Lantz in the slot that was assisted by Kevin Rosset and Ryan Carroll. Trevor Zakrajsek set up the final goal of the game, assisting on Ryan Demyen’s goal that gave the Stampede a 6-3 victory.
The Stampede’s first game of the season began as a defensive match on Friday Oct. 19. The first period showcased both teams goaltending and defense as the period went scoreless. The Stampede got to the net fast and often, getting multiple shots on goal and crashing the net. The Knights got on the board first early in the second period, and followed it up at the ten minute mark to take a 2-0 lead going into the third.
The Stampede readjusted and came out fast in the third. Following a Cheyenne penalty, the Stampede’s penalty kill was beyond efficient, as defenseman Dario Trupina threw a long stretch pass to Russell Armbruster who went in on a breakaway behind the defense. Armbruster scored on the breakaway to pull the Stampede within one of the Knights. Minutes later, Phoenix scored again to give them a 3-1 lead. Noah Eckebrecht scored for the Stampede following more passing wizardry from Dario Trupina, who took the puck along the boards and behind the net, before dishing the puck off to Eckebrecht across the crease for a tap in goal. Trupina had his third assist of the night when he passed the puck to Kevin Rosset in the defensive zone. Rosset weaved his way up the ice and through the Knights’ defense, before pulling the puck around the goalie and scoring to tie the game at 3-3 with 1:43 left on the clock.
The Stampede played 4-on-4 through the five minute overtime. The Stampede had several great opportunities, each time to be met by the Phoenix goaltender. Carrying the play for the majority of the period, the Stampede kept the puck in the offensive zone and cycled the puck extremely well. With just under a minute left though, Phoenix got a breakaway, which led to the game winning goal.
The Stampede will have a week of rest, before embarking on their first road trip of the season to New Mexico on Nov. 2 through 4. The team is 2-0-1 on the season now and will continue to work and improve all season. The Stampede’s next home series will be our Military Appreciation Weekend against the Texas Brahmas Nov. 9 through 11.
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Story by Matthew Humphrey, Stampede Beat Writer