Sioux Falls, SD
Two late goals by Kevin Conley and Reid Stefenson helped lift the Sioux Falls Stampede to a 5-3 victory over the Central Illinois Flying Aces in front of 4,713 fans Sunday evening at the PREMIER Center. After letting a 3-1 lead slip away, the Stampede rallied back with two goals in the final 2:30 to improve to 12-7-6 and head into the break on a positive note. Adam Dawe led the way with a goal and two assists while Reid Stefanson and Carson Dimoff each had a goal and an assist each. Jaxson Stauber earned his third win of the season in goal with 36 saves as the Herd head into the holiday break in third place in the Western Conference, just four points behind first place Fargo.
After a scoreless first period in which Central Illinois outshot the Herd 11-8 it would be the Stampede breaking through and finding the back of the net at 10:42 of the second period. Brookings Blizzard defenseman Parker Revering who was on loan for the weekend, sent a perfect pass in front of the net to Khristian Acosta who quickly tapped the puck into the back of the net to give Sioux Falls a 1-0 lead. The goal was Acosta’s sixth of the year, but the celebration would be short lived as the Flying Aces struck back less than two minutes later. Calen Kiefiuk brought the puck down the left wing boards and sent a perfect pass through the slot to Griffin Lunn who raced down the right wing boards and tapped the pass into the upper right-hand corner of the net. It remained that way until the 17:44 mark when the Herd connected on the power play for the first time this weekend. Khristian Acosta sent a pass through the neutral zone and own the left wing wall to Kirill Panyukov who raced in front of the net where he waited for Flying Aces goaltender Kris Carlson to go down before lifting the puck into the net for a 2-1 lead.
The Herd added to their lead just 4:36 into the third period when Adam Dawe’s blast from the left circle was deflected past Carlson and into the net for a 3-1 lead. Central Illinois showed they wouldn’t go down quietly though as they responded with back-to-back goals at 9:30 and 12:25 to tie the game 3-3. It appeared the game might be headed to overtime yet again, but Kevin Conley had other plans. The veteran forward took a pass up the right wing wall and danced around one defender before wristing a shot from the right circle past the stick side of Carlson to regain the lead at 4-3. Central Illinois was getting ready to pull their goaltender after that, but the Stampede kept the pressure on in the offensive zone and Khristian Acosta sent a perfect pass in the slot to Reid Stefanson who buried the puck into the back of the net for a 5-3 lead.
Central Illinois outshot the Herd 11-7 in the third period and 39-23 on the night. The Flying Aces finished 2-for-3 on the power play while the Stampede went 2-for-4.
The Stampede are now off for the holiday break and return home on Thursday, December 28th to host the Sioux City Musketeers at 7:05 PM. Tickets are on sale now through the KEOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede
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