In the craziest game of the season, the Sioux Falls Stampede outslugged the Dubuque Fighting Saints 7-6 in overtime Friday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Nolan Walker tallied the game winner just 1:17 into overtime as the Herd improved to 8-0-2 in their last 10 games. The win kept the Herd in a second place tie with Waterloo in the Western Conference. Sioux Falls is now 12-1-8 in one-goal games this season.
Nolan Walker scored twice while Kevin Conley, Reid Stefanson, Colin Swoyer, Artem Ivanhyuzhenkov and Kirill Panyukov all tallied a goal and an assist in the win. Jaxson Stauber came in relief of Mikhail Berdin in the second period and earned the win, stopping 14 of 15 shots on the night.
In a wild and crazy first period the Stampede racked up four goals against the Saints. The Herd got things going just 30 seconds into the period when Kevin Conley broke free over the Saints line an blasted a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net for his 13th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead for the Herd. The Stampede took a 2-0 lead just 1:15 later when Nolan Walker sent a backdoor pass to Kirill Panyukov who tipped the puck through the pads of James Durham.
The Herd weren’t done with their offensive explosion, scoring again at 6:43 when Reid Stefanson took a pass from Carson Dimoff and wristed it past Durham for a 3-0 advantage. That goal sent Durham to the bench early as Dubuque looked to get back into the game and did just that at 18:37 when Tyce Thompson snuck free and wristed a shot under the right pad of Mikhail Berdin. The Stampede responded with a goal from Colin Swoyer with just 36 seconds left in the period, but the Saints tipped a shot in with just three seconds remaining and just like that the period ended, 4-2 in favor of Sioux Falls. Dubuque outshot the Herd 17-11 in the period.
That late goal ignited the Saints into the second period where they controlled play for much of the period and outshot the Herd 14-6. The Saints pulled within a goal 4:16 into the period when Jacob Semik scored on the power play. Dubuque would tie the game at 11:12 when Dale Hunter took the puck in the high slot and wristed a shot right under the left arm of Berdin to make it 4-4.
Frustration set in for the Herd after goaltender Mikhail Berdin was taken out twice during the period, but no penalties were called and the Fighting Saints used that to their advantage to take a 5-4 lead when Adam Tisdale sent a pass in front of the net for Tyce Thompson who tipped the puck into the net. That would end Berdin’s night as Jaxson Stauber entered the game. Sioux Falls climbed back into the game on their first power play chance of the night at 17:23 when Khristian Acosta sent a pass into the slot to a streaking Artem Ivanyuzhenknov who wristed a shot past the glove side of Cole Weaver and the period ended in a 5-5 tie.
Sioux Falls would retake the lead just 2:12 in the third period when Nolan Walker took a pass from Kirill Panyukov and raced into the Dubuque zone before cutting in front of the goal and backhanding a shot past Weaver for a 6-5 advantage. The craziness continued later in the period as the Saints would find a way to tie the game again, this time scoring at 7:43 when Adam Tisdale deflected a shot past Jaxson Stauber to make it a 6-6 game. Things calmed down until just over two minutes left in regulation when Dubuque nearly scored in front of the net, but Antti Virtanen was flagged for tripping, putting the Saints on the power play. The Herd were able to kill off the penalty and forced yet another overtime this season.
In the extra session, the Stampede came out flying and would take the game just 1:17 in when Reid Stefanson tipped a pass in front of the net to Nolan Walker who wristed a shot into the goal for an amazing 7-6 victory.
Dubuque outshot Sioux Falls 44-29 on the night and went 1-for-4 on the power play while the Stampede connected on their only power play of the night.
Sioux Falls and Dubuque square off again on Saturday at the Mystique Community Ice Arena. Puck drop is 7:05 PM and fans can catch the game live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM and online at KELO.com starting at 6:40 PM.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede
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