OUTLIERS LOOK TO REGAIN FORM AGAINST STAMPEDE
The Utah Outliers are back at home this weekend as they get set to take on the visiting Cheyenne Stampede. Both Mountain Division clubs are coming into the series after having a slight set back, with Utah going 1-2 against the Oklahoma City Blazers, while Cheyenne lost two straight to the Northern Colorado Eagles. Although they share last weekend’s results in common, each team has experienced very different starts to the young 2018-19 season. The Outliers are tied for third in the WSHL with 23 points, whereas the Stampede are still looking to gain some traction and looking to pick up their first win of the year.
Utah comes into the series still doing well in special teams, sitting in 4th place in powerplay efficiency and 5th place in penalty kill efficiency. Their 54 goals scored this season are still good for 2nd in the WSHL. If the Outliers want to get back to their winning ways however, they are going to have to button up defensively and become more consistent on offense. With the team depth and variety of skilled players, it should not be too big of a task.
For the Stampede, they will look for forwards Bryan Watters (team lead 8 assists and 13 points) and Jeremy Valazquez (team lead 7 goals) to lead the charge. Both players have shown they can make a huge impact on a game and can contribute offensively. Veteran Hakan Salt also looks to be a factor, as he is no stranger to the competition between these two teams. In net, all three goaltenders have been tested and been able to hold up to a barrage of pucks coming their way.
This weekend marks the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last year Utah was able to remain perfect against Cheyenne, winning each contest and dominating on all ends of the ice. With both teams carrying new looks this year, it will be interesting to see how the changes affect this rivalry. Be sure to come out to the Acord Ice Center this Friday at 7:00 PM and don’t forget it is Harry Potter Havoc Weekend. Numerous prizes and competitions will be taking place through the duration of both Friday and Saturday’s contests.