Sioux Falls, SD
Adam Dawe, Mitchell Mattson and Nolan Walker all scored as the Sioux Falls Stampede improved to a perfect 6-0-0 against first place Fargo this season with a 3-2 victory over the Force Friday night at the PREMIER Center. A crowd of 5,882 witnessed Mikhail Berdin’s 10th victory of the season in goal with 26 saves on the night. The win vaulted the Herd back into third place in the Western Conference just two points behind second place Tri-City. Fargo is now 0-5-1 against the Herd and 18-3-4 against all other teams this season.
For just the second time in the season series, the Fargo Force grabbed the first goal of the game. On the power play, the Force found the back of the net 9:18 into the game. A pass from Ty Farmer went off a Stampede skate and bounced right in front of the net to Ben Meyers who quickly backhanded a shot over a sliding Mikhail Berdin to take a 1-0 lead. Sioux Falls would go on their own power play shortly after and the Herd would convert just seconds after it expired. AJ Villella found Adam Dawe inside the right circle and Dawe blasted a shot just under the crossbar for his sixth goal of the season versus Fargo. The Herd were flagged for back-to-back penalties and entered the second period on the penalty kill. Fargo outshot the Herd 11-4 in the period.
The Stampede were able to kill off the penalty and even get a goal of their own just moments after the penalty expired. Colin Swoyer found Mitchell Mattson in the left wing corner and Mattson escaped past the defense and brought the puck into the slot before backhanding a shot through the five-hole of Fargo goaltender Strauss Mann to give the Herd a 2-1 advantage. It remained that way until the 17:52 mark of the period when Jack St. Ivany took the puck behind the Fargo net and wrapped around in front, sending the puck onto the tape of Nolan Walker who was standing to the side of the goal and tapped in the puck to give Sioux Falls a 3-1 advantage. That goal was also just moments after a power play had expired for the Herd. Sioux Falls outshot the Fargo Force 9-7 in the period.
It remained a tight game into the third period with Fargo going on the power play early, but the Stampede penalty kill stayed strong and kept it a 3-1 game. The Force were finally able to pull within a goal at 15:07 when Sammy Steele scored on the power play. A shot from the high slot from Ty Farmer headed towards the net and Steele was able to get his stick down and deflect the puck past Berdin and into the goal to make it a 3-2 game. The Force drew another penalty with just 44 seconds remaining in regulation and pulled their goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage, but the Stampede defense stood tall and held off the Fargo rally to earn the victory.
Fargo outshot the Herd 10-7 in the period and 28-20 in the game. They finished the night 2-for-9 on the power play while the Stampede went 0-for-4.
The same two teams go at it again on Saturday at 7:05 PM inside the PREMIER Center. It is also Buffalo Wild Wings Night where fans can sample some delicious Buffalo Wild Wings sauce in the main concourse during the game. Stay in your seats in between periods for a special wing-eating contest. Tickets are still available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet. The Stampede office will be open from 12-4 PM to help with ticketing needs as well.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede
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