Stampede in 'driver's seat' after win last weekend

Processes, processes, processes.

Just stop it.

It is all athletes seem to want to talk about these days.

Who does not yawn every time someone mentions processes?

Well, turns out there is something to be said for not overthinking the game plan.

The Stampede did not have the luxury ahead of game one of the final series against the West Auckland Admirals last weekend.

The Southerners will have more time on their hands tonight. Game two is on their home ice in Queenstown and they will go into the game as strong favourites following the 8-4 win in Auckland.

But last week, the rather tight travel plans meant the Stampede had to take a few shortcuts.

The team arrived in Auckland at 1.30pm and had to rush to the venue to make the 4pm start.

It was far from ideal preparation - and maybe some of those beloved processes got overlooked - but it worked for the Stampede.

The visitors dominated the first period. They slammed in four goals to set up the convincing win.

Liam Stewart and Ryan Strayer shone with two goals and one assist apiece.

"We came out in that first period and really set the tempo for the rest of the game," coach Cam Frear said.

"But everyone was pretty focused leading up to it. We knew it would be huge if we could go up there and take a game off them. It would put us in the driver's seat."

It certainly has. The Stampede can clinch a record-extending sixth title with a win tonight.

Game three will be in Queenstown tomorrow night if needed. But the Stampede is hoping for the night off.

The team has lost just one game all season - a 3-2 loss to the Botany Swarm in early July.

Frear puts his side's success down to sound defence and a talented roster.

"We've kind of figured out what hockey works for us and have stuck to that.

"We have a lot of skilled guys and we're a physical team on defence.

"Our platform is based on being defensively responsible and then letting our high-end skill take care of the offence."


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