New Beginnings in Wyoming

by Ron White

The buzz around the start of the WSHL 2017-18 season continues to grow and there’s plenty of hope in Wyoming, where both the Casper Coyotes and Cheyenne Stampede are preparing for the upcoming campaign with new faces behind the bench. Cheyenne hopes that their new head coach will guide the Stampede to the top of the Mountain Division, while Casper has revamped their look, both in a coaching change and a new logo. Here is a closer look at the two teams from the Equality State.

Cheyenne Stampede

Coach Joe Pfleegor takes the helm in Cheyenne as the Stampede look to improve on a 17-32-3 performance last season. The Stampede have been mired in the bottom half of the standings over the last three years. However, Pfleegor is looking to have the formula that will get the Stampede surging back up the Mountain Division ranks.

Early Series To Watch

October 20-21 – The Stampede host the Colorado Jr. Eagles at the Cheyenne Ice & Events Center for Cheyenne’s “First Responders Series.” The Stampede will be wearing special uniforms for the weekend honoring police, fire, and emergency medical services.

Key Stat

10 – The Stampede won 10 of their 17 games last season away from Cheyenne. They were one of three teams to post more wins on the road than at home last year.

Casper Coyotes

New head coach David Cole comes to Casper from Southern Oregon, where the Spartans finished second in the Northwest last season. Cole is hoping for a similar result with the Coyotes as they look to separate themselves from the rest of the Mountain pack. Casper will be aiming to get back to the top of the division, which they accomplished in their first season in 2014-15.

Early Series To Watch

October 13-15 – After watching the Stampede take on the defending Thorne Cup champion Wichita Jr. Thunder the previous weekend, the Coyotes will battle the Thunder in Casper. It will be the first of three series in the first half of the season for Casper against Thorne Cup Finalists.

Key Stat

27 – The point total separating fourth-place Casper and fifth-place Cheyenne last season. The gap was the largest between any two adjacent teams in the Mountain standings.

Head-To-Head Matchups

November 24-26 at Casper, December 1-3 at Cheyenne, February 9-11 at Cheyenne

Cole and Pfleegor will not see each other’s new teams until Thanksgiving weekend, the first of back-to-back weekends between the Coyotes and Stampede. The teams meet again in Cheyenne in February for the Stampede’s “Cancer Awareness” series.

Article courtesy of Charles Woodall-Pike, WSHL Mountain Division Correspondent. Be sure to follow Charles on Twitter (@cactusonice) for all things Mountain Division.

Photo Courtesy of Marc Mauno