After a record breaking season for wins and points the stampede are ready to not only reach the western conference finals again, but chase down the Clark Cup.
The Stampede are locked and loaded to make another strong playoff push. The Herd will be returning thirteen players from their record breaking team a year ago. The last time they took the ice they fell just short of reaching the USHL Finals and are ready to use that as motivation.
"Obviously we have a sour taste in our mouth after that game five loss to Fargo, it was a tough one. It's motivating, but we also had so many huge wins. The game five win over Lincoln, the game four win in Lincoln to get to game five. We had a lot of building blocks along the way that hopefully will carry over into this year," Stampede Head Coach Carey Eades said.
One thing not being carried over is goal keeper Chuck 'The Franchise' Lindgren, as he has moved on to play at St. Cloud State. This year the Herd will look to David Jacobsen to fill his skates. The Los Angeles native is ready to make his mark as the defender of the net.
"I'm excited, I'm ready to go. Charlie has really helped me out and taught me how to be a starting goalie in this league. I owe a lot of it to him, but it comes down to how I handle it and I feel like I'm ready to go," Stampede Goalie Jacobsen said.
If he is ready to go you know returning stars such as C.J. Franklin, Tony Calderone, Zeb Knutson, and Dennis Kravchenko are ready too. These guys know the talent and expectations they posses and feel they have what it takes to get over the hump this year.
"Yeah I think we will. I don't really know about our expectations, but I know what our goal is and that is to win the whole thing. I want a ring on my finger at the end of this year, so does coach, and every other player on this team. We want that banner hanging up at the end of the year. We are expecting big things," Stampede Forward Kravchenko said.
The stampede will drop the puck for the first time this season in Des Moines this Saturday night. Their first home will be Friday October 4th. This is the final year the Herd will play in the Arena before moving into the Scheels Hockey Arena in 2014.