Monday, April 27, 2009

Report Card: Sioux Falls Stampede

Team Record: 28-28-4

Total Points: 60

Goal Leader: Terry Broadhurst - 27

Assist Leader: David Eddy - 35

Points Leader: Terry Broadhurst - 58

PIM Leader: Marcus Perrier - 128

+/- Leader: Max Grover - +23

Wins Leader: Eric Hartzell - 20

Sioux Falls was very inconsistent this season. They would lose a handful of games and roar back to win a bunch in a row. Coach Hartzell kept going to his son, Eric, in almost every situation. Young rookie, Clay Witt, saw action in only 18 games, yet posted better stats than Hartzell. Assuming Witt returns, the Stampede have a solid goalie to build around for next season. Witt played well in his limited action and helped the Stampede win a game in Lincoln during the playoffs. Witt lost the following game, and despite many fans wanting Clay in net for Game 4, the Stampede went back to Hartzell. Eric just didn't seem to have it in the playoffs and that game was no different.

The Stampede defense was anchored by veteran Max Grover. Outside of Grover, the Stampede didn't really have any standout defensemen. Sean Escobedo, a BU recruit, is a highly regarded player, but hasn't quite reached that potential though. Chad Ruhwedal and Dan Furlong turned in solid rookie campaigns and should anchor the blueline next season. Another defensemen that is intriguing to me is Marcus Perrier. Following tryout camp, some fans were raving about this kid and he was a physical presence in the games he appeared in this season. Coach Hartzell had claimed he was going to have a team built around old time hockey. Perrier seems to be the only one who really fits the profile. He is still pretty young, but should be able to be a force on the blue line for the Stampede.

The Stampede had some talent up front and were led by Terry Broadhurst. Broadhurst led the team in goals and points. He was always a threat when on the ice, along with rookie David Eddy. Eddy is the type of player you can't help but enjoy and be a fan of. He gives 110% on every shift and isn't afraid to take a hit. He's gotten the bad end of a couple of hits a few times this season, but he was able to continue. One incident, he collided with Max Grover and ended up with a bloddy mouth. He was able to come back and finish the game after some repairs and a jersey change. Third year veteran, Robbie Vrolyk, posted 24 goals. With those 24, he eclipsed his goal total in his previous two seasons in Sioux Falls. The Stampede could return some key players in Patrick Divjak, Josh Holmstrom, and Dane Walters. Walters may not return and that's good news for the rest of the players in the league. Dane is one of the hardest hitters in the league, and he's a small guy to boot.

Team Grade: C

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