The Sioux Falls Stampede (1-3-0) went into Friday night’s game against the Lincoln Stars (3-1-0) trying to figure out how to get back on the winning track four games into the season. In their last outing, the Herd came back from being down 6-2 in the third period against the Muskegon Lumberjacks to lose by one, 6-5. The Stampede had a chance to tie the game in the last minute of the third, but the game-tying goal was disallowed by the referee.
In that game, the Herd also lost forward Bryan Moore to an apparent knee injury after he got tangled up along the boards with a Lumberjacks defender. According to Moore he stated that he will be out 4-6 weeks with this knee injury.
The first period started off with a bang for the Herd when just 4:12 into the game, Kyle Rankin put away his second goal of the season off of an assist by Austyn Young and Matt Van Voorhis. The Stars were able to strike back with 3:03 left in the first on a goal by Tommy Schutt. He was assisted by Luke Johnson and Kevin Roy on the goal.
The Herd struck again though with 54 seconds left when Kent Sherrer scored off of a redirected shot to put Sioux Falls up 2-1 at the end of one period of play. Assists were given to Van Voorhis and Justin Selman. Despite being outshot 12-4 in the first period, the Stampede were able to get the two all-important goals to take the lead into the first intermission.
The second period was filled with a lot of action but no scoring by either team. The Stampede though were able to make it interesting as they had several chances to score off of rebounds in front of the net. The Herd got of 20 shots in the second period, many of them right in front of Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb. Through the first two periods both teams had taken 24 shots on goal.
As the Stampede came out in the third period, there was an intensity in the way that they were skating out of the locker room. There were several chances to score and goalie Stephon Williams looked sharp in the net, preventing the puck from trickling through for a cheap goal.
Late in the period disaster struck Lincoln as Luke Johnson was given a double minor penalty for roughing and checking from behind and then he was hit with a 10 minute game misconduct which resulted in an ejection. Thirty seconds later though, Mitch Hughes of the Stampede got a little frustrated and was sent to the box for a cross check which made it even strength for 1:30. The Herd were able to kill off the even strength and eventually held on to get the win 2-1.
Goaltender Stephon Williams was pleased with the way that the defense for the Herd played. “We had guys blocking shots, we had guys really committed to team defense and that was really great for us.”
Assistant captain Mitch Hughes also was happy with the way that the team played. “There really weren’t any weak points out on out D. I think our D are the best D core in the league and that it will stay that way.”
First year assistant coach Dallas Steward talked about the way that the team played as a whole. “It’s a character win for the boys in the sense of coming back from what happened last weekend and responding with a team effort.”
The Stampede return to the ice to round out their 5 game home stand against the Fargo Force, who lost to the Omaha Lancers tonight 3-2. Faceoff is set for 7:05 pm at the Sioux Falls Arena on Saturday night. In honor of breast cancer awareness month, it will be “Pink in the Rink” night at the Arena.