Sioux Falls, SD—Josh Passolt scored twice while Khristian Acosta tallied a goal and three assists as the Herd powered past the Des Moines Buccaneers 5-2 Tuesday evening at the PREMIER Center. The Herd improved to 4-1-0 against the Bucs this season and collected their first home win since New Year’s Eve. Mikhali Berdin stopped 30 of 32 shots in goal as the Stampede improved to 18-27-9 on the season. The Herd have gained at least a point in three straight games and five of their last seven.
After a slow start to the game, the Stampede got on the board at 15:26 when Khristian Acosta tallied his first goal of the season. Josh Passolt took the puck behind the Bucs net and wrapped around a shot that was stopped by Des Moines netminder Jan Ruzicka, but the rebound bounced out to Acosta who quickly tucked it past him to give the Herd a 1-0 lead after one period. The Bucs outshot the Stampede 9-8 in the period.
The Herd added to their lead just 2:57 in as Jaxon Nelson’s shot attempt was stopped, but the rebound bounced off the left wing wall and onto the tap of Villella who blasted a shot from the top of the left circle and into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. Des Moines would go on the power play minutes later and took advantage just as it expired at 7:47 off a wrist shot from Isaac Johnson to make it a 2-1 game.
Sioux Falls would regain their two goal advantage at 13:53 when Jack Becker converted on the power play. Becker took a pass from Villella in front of the Bucs net and was stopped on his first attempt, but got his own rebound and sent the puck under the crossbar and into the net for his 13th of the season and a 3-1 advantage. It stayed that way until the final minute of the period when the Herd extended their lead on a goal from Josh Passolt with just 57 seconds on the clock. Acosta found Passolt open in the slot and Passolt skated patiently with the puck into the right circle before lifting it over the shoulder of Ruzicka to give the Stampede a commanding 4-1 lead heading into the final period.
The Bucs tried to make things interesting in the third, posting 14 shots on goal, but only snuck one past Berdin as the Herd held steady at 4-2. Sioux Falls closed things out at 17:45 as the Bucs were trying to pull Ruzicka, Sioux Falls stole the puck and Acosta found Passolt who tallied his second of the night and team leading 18th of the season to seal a 5-2 victory.
The Herd outshot the Bucs 35-32 on the night and finished the evening 1-for-2 on the power play while the Bucs were 0-for-3.
The Stampede return home this Friday to host Madison at 7:05 PM for Social Media Night. Be sure to follow the Stampede on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for a chance to win prizes all throughout the evening. The club will also be honoring the Luverne varsity boys hockey team and the U-12 girls team in between periods. For more information, visit sfstampede.com. Tickets are still available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede
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