The Cheyenne Stampede are in a bit of an interesting situation at the moment.
By Brian Lester
Joe Liquori took over as the interim head coach in mid-September, as Joe Pflegor had to leave temporarily. He is expected to return at an undetermined date.
“It’s a tough position to be in but the kids have made the transition easy,” said Liquori, who began the year as an assistant with the Stampede. “The kids have done everything you ask of them. I couldn’t ask for anymore. They work hard and play hard and they want to get better.”
Cheyenne dropped its first two Western States Hockey League games of the season, but Liquori has seen the team make strides despite tough results against Superior.
“The boys played better from the first game to the second game,” Liquori said. “You wouldn’t know it from the results, but if you are a hockey person, you would know it from watching the games.”
Liquori said one of the bright spots early on has been the goaltending play of Daniel Nelson and Robbie Brennan.
As far as improvements go, the little things are what matter most for the Stampede.
“We just have to make better decisions,” Liquori said. “We have to play better defense and be better in the neutral zone. [The Stampede also have] to get better at face-offs and score some more goals. The emphasis in practice is on the little things. Everything else works itself out.”
The WSHL isn’t an easy league and Liquori knows there will be growing pains, especially since it’s a team with a lot of players.
“We have a young team for this league and you want to give those guys experience and put them in tough situations,” Liquori said. “We’ve seen improvements already and I am happy with the effort.”
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