Weekend Preview vs Cheyenne
Snipers Travel to Cheyenne to Herd the Stampede - Dallas Looks to Bounce Back After Tough Weekend at Home
By Jason Felts
13 hours and 3 minutes. That’s how long the drive is between the Snipers’ home rink in Plano, Texas and the Cheyenne Ice & Events Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, home of the Mountain Division’s Cheyenne Stampede. Despite the 900 miles between them, both of these teams know that a crucial weekend series faces them when the two meet this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as both teams look to get the 2018-19 season on the right track in the early stages of the year.
Dallas rolls in to town on the heels of a 0-3 weekend against reigning Thorne Cup Champions El Paso Rhinos, a team on the opposite side of a streak, winning their last 28 straight WSHL games. Cheyenne enters their home opener after two hard fought losses to the Northern Colorado Eagles by counts of 6-4 and 4-2.
The Stampede and the Snipers enter this weekend in a similar position, as both teams look to rely on their new faces to fix less-than-impressive seasons in 2017-18. Cheyenne saw a nuclear collapse after a modest 2-5 start to the ’17-’18 campaign as they were unable to pull away a single other win after their October 8th victory over Wichita, finishing the year at a league-worst 2-48. On the other side of the ice, Dallas had similar success against the depleted Wichita Jr. Thunder last season, but only managed 2 of their 13 wins against teams that didn’t call Kansas home.
Both teams look to rely on a few new faces to help generate offense in this series, as Dallas will likely continue to look for big Slovenian forward Jasa Jenko for scoring opportunities after he played a role in all three goals scored against the Rhinos. The Stampede boast a similar high-scoring threat in forward Jeremy Valazquez, a new man who netted a third of the team’s goals in their last weekend as well.
This series will be won or lost on the defensive side of the puck, as Dallas will be without their defensive captain Arvidas Domeika, who suffered an injury shortly before the team bus departed Dallas early Thursday morning. Domeika is safe and resting in Dallas this weekend and is expected to play in the Snipers’ next weekend series. Cheyenne will be anchored by starting goaltender Brendan Carew, who posted a 90% save percentage against the Eagles in both games. It will be interesting to see how the Dallas offense will challenge a newly-constructed Stampede defense.
While it’s nowhere near desperation time for either team, one can only assume that a win or two on either side would do a lot to lift spirits for the 2018-19 campaign, and a hard fought series is certainly expected this weekend. The Friday and Saturday night games will take place at 7:35 PM MT (8:35 CDT), and the Sunday game will take place at 1:00 PM MT (2:00 CDT) at the Cheyenne Ice & Events Center, and always streaming on BDEHockey.com.
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