The Sioux Falls Stampede are bringing home the first Clark Cup in franchise history after defeating Waterloo 3-0 tonight. Quite an accomplishment for a team that started the season 0-5-1 and spent much of the season in or near last place in the USHL’s strongly competitive western division.
The coaches and players, especially goalie Matt Lundin, caught a lot of flak in the first half or so of the season. But Lundin proved his worth, supposedly playing a superb game in the semi-finals and, of course, getting a shutout in the championship game. It earned him the final four MVP award.
Personally, I think last year’s team, which lost a championship series to Des Moines, may have been a bigger powerhouse. But no one can dispute that this group pulled together as a team. It lead them not only to a league-best record in the second half of the season but the championship that was the goal of every other USHL team eight months ago.
Congrats and best wishes to the players and coaches. Too bad it also means I gotta wait until the fall to see live hockey again.
You’re looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back.