Stampede Announce 2011-2012 Regular Season Schedule
by KDLT Sports
July 27, 2011 7:01 AM
Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede are pleased to announce their schedule for the upcoming 2011-12 season. The Herd will once again play an unbalanced 60-game schedule with 30 home and 30 away games.
This year’s schedule is very family friendly with 24 of the 30 home dates being played on weekends. Nine games (9) will be played on Friday’s, 13 on Saturday’s and two (2) on Sunday’s. In addition, the Stampede will play 6 home games on Wednesday nights. Click here to view the entire schedule.
For the second straight year, the Stampede will start the season on the road when they face Western Conference rival Lincoln on Friday, September 30th at the Ice Box in Lincoln. The Herd’s home opener is set for Saturday, October 8th at 7:05 PM against the Waterloo Black Hawks.
Other highlights of the home schedule include Friday, November 4th when Sioux City makes their first visit to Sioux Falls. Three of the Stampede’s four home games against the Musketeers will be played on a Friday or Saturday this season. The Herd will host the Fargo Force on the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) and Lincoln the day after (Nov. 26).
Fans will once again be able to ring in the New Year with a special New Year’s Eve tilt against the Des Moines Buccaneers. The defending Clark Cup champion Dubuque Fighting Saints make their only appearance in Sioux Falls on January 14.The Stampede close out the regular season with a Friday/Saturday homestand against Sioux City and Tri-City on April 13 & 14.
"This year’s schedule is good for the fans with 22 Friday and Saturday games.,” said Stampede CEO Gary Weckwerth. “From the competitive angle it's heavy on the Western Conference battles that we've all come to love and what makes our league so tough.”
Fans can not only expect to see great hockey this season, but will have a totally new experience at the arena as well with the addition of a new high definition video system. Fans will now be able to watch videos, live interviews and replays during the game in high definition in addition to being treated to new promotions throughout the game.
“I think that is the most exciting thing about this upcoming season,” said Weckwerth. “It will be a brand new game experience with the addition of the new high definition video system and lighting system in the arena that will greatly enhance the game experience. You won’t want to miss the player introductions and pre-game every night.”
The USHL features 16 teams with two conferences of eight teams each. The only change this year is Waterloo moves to the Western Conference and Dubuque to the Eastern Conference. The Western Conference will feature Des Moines, Fargo, Lincoln, Omaha, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Tri-City and Waterloo. The Eastern Conference includes: Cedar Rapids, Chicago, Dubuque, Green Bay, Indiana, Muskegon, Team USA and Youngstown.
The playoff format remains the same. The top six teams in each conference will qualify for the Clark Cup Playoffs with the top two teams from each conference receiving first round byes. The first round will be a best-of-three format with the higher seeded teams earning home-ice advantage for all three games.
The second round, conference finals and Clark Cup Finals will remain a best-of-five format with the higher seed earning home-ice for three of the five games.
The schedule format has changed this season. The Stampede will play Fargo, Lincoln, Omaha, Sioux City and Tri-City eight times (4 home, 4 away), Des Moines six times (3 home, 3, away), and Waterloo four times (2 home, 2 away). They will face Cedar Rapids and Dubuque from the Eastern Conference twice (1 home, 1 away) and all other Eastern Conference teams once. This is being done to cut down on travel and strengthen some of the bigger rivalries in the USHL.
Stampede high school players will report in mid-August for school and camp will open the first weekend in September. Nearly 30 players will be vying for 23 roster spots at the end of the pre-season. Single game tickets for the regular season will go on sale in late September.
Courtesy: Jim Olander, Sioux Falls Stampede
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