Muskies open camp with high expectations in 2019

Sports

With the 2020 season in it’s beginning stages, the Sioux City Musketeers are working towards another playoff appearance this year, but they want more than just a trip to the postseason.

“We want to win the Clark Cup,” said Musketeers head coach Luke Strand. “And that’s our number one goal. I think the Naderson Cup is a glorious deal, but it tells a story of a whole season. The Clark Cup is a championship.”

Bobby Brink, Martin Pospisil, and Marcus Kalionkieli led the team last year, but now, all three are headed to the NHL, meaning guys like Blake Biondi and Dominic Vidoli will have to step up.

“We’re slowly but surely coming together,” said Musketeers defender Dominic Vidoli. “We’re working on pace in practice. And working on the little things, the details, that are gonna bring us success once the season starts.”

“Training camp is really tough,” said Musketeers forward Blake Biondi. “You’re at the rink from like 9 to 7 at night. It’s a long day, but you’re getting close to your teammates. And that’s the most important thing right now. Knowing the guys, getting close to them, and the camaraderie.”

Developing that camaraderie has been what the Muskies are focusing on, and the preseason has helped this newly constructed team band together.

“We had a lot of turnover from last season so there’s a lot of new faces in the locker room,” said Vidoli. “But we’ve come together really quick. The preseason has been good for us. We got up to Wisconsin early on, had a few days up there in some cabins, did some bonding. So that was really good for us. We’ve really come together in the locker room, and the boys are quickly becoming a family.”

“Hockey’s such a great sport,” said Biondi. “It brings guys together. So that’s a big thing where guys get close: just playing the game. “

The Muskies have the confidence to win their first Clark Cup since 2002, but can they do it? After an 0-2 start in the USHL Fall Classic in Pittsburgh, they’ll hope for a better start in their home opener on Saturday.

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