It was another classic Sioux Falls/Fargo battle Saturday night at Scheels Arena, but for the first time this season, the Stampede didn’t come out on top. David Gust’s breakaway goal just 27 seconds into overtime gave the Fargo Force (8-6-5) a 3-2 overtime victory over the Stampede. Tony Calderone and Joe Schuldt scored for the Stampede while Charlie Lindgren stopped 37 shots in goal.
The loss snapped the Stampede’s three-game winning streak and put them at 13-5-1 on the season, just one point behind Waterloo for first place in the Western Conference. Sioux Falls finished a three-game week earning five of a possible six points.
For the first time in the season series, Fargo registered the first goal of the game with three minutes remaining when Alex Iafallo scored on the powerplay. Victor Bjorkung blasted the shot from the high slot that hit of the back boards and bounced in front of the crease where Iafallo stood and batted it into the empty net to make it 1-0. The lead would not last for long though as the Stampede responded 1:36 later when Tony Calderone took a pass from Cody Milan and wristed a shot past the glove side of Fargo netminder Brendan Jensen to tie the game at one. Fargo outshot the Herd 13-10 in the period.
Sioux Falls took their first lead of the game 2:11 into the second period on Joe Schuldt’s first career USHL goal. Todd Skirving picked up a loose rebound inside the left circle and wristed a shot that clanked off the right goal post and bounced to Schuldt at the right point. Schuldt quickly blasted a shot through traffic and past the glove side of Brendan Jensen to make it a 2-1 game. Sioux Falls then had a chance to add to their lead with nearly two full minutes of a 5-on-3 advantage, but came up empty and that allowed the Force an opportunity to get back into the game and they would do just that.
Fargo would capitalize on a powerplay of their own at 15:26 when Taylor Flemming slapped a shot from the left point that went off the glove of Charlie Lindgren and into the back of the net. The goal tied the game at two and gave the Force much momentum as they dominated the final four minutes, but the Herd held on to keep the game tied 2-2 at the end of two periods. Fargo outshot the Herd 13-8 in the period.
Fargo outshot the Stampede 11-6 in the third period, but neither team could find the back of the net, putting the game into overtime for the third time in four games between the two teams.
The extra session didn’t last long as David Gust picked up a loose puck at center and skated in on a breakaway, beating Lindgren on the glove side to give the Force their first win over the Stampede this season.
Fargo outshot the Herd 40-27 on the night and went 2-for-7 on the powerplay while the Herd went 1-for-7. It was the first overtime loss of the season for the Stampede who return home next weekend for two games against Des Moines and Lincoln. Tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.
Courtesy: Jim Olander, Vice President Broadcast & Communications, Sioux Falls Stampede Hockey
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