Waterloo, IA—Garrett Cecere’s power play goal with 1:18 left in regulation helped lift the Stampede past the Waterloo Black Hawks 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Young Arena. Christian Horn scored twice while David Jacobson stopped 38 shots in goal as the Herd ended the Black Hawks 23-game unbeaten streak in regulation. The Hawks had not lost in regulation since mid-November and are still a USHL best 32-6-2. Sioux Falls improved to 24-15-2 on the season and back into a third place tie with Sioux City in the Western Conference.
Coming off one of their worst periods of the season, the Herd played one of their best in the first in Waterloo. Christian Horn got the Herd on the board 7:10 in when he took a pass in the slot from Dennis Kravchenko and wristed a shot past the glove side of Waterloo goaltender Cal Peterson to give the Stampede a 1-0 lead. The Herd continued to put pressure on the Hawks, posting 13 shots in the period and help that lead late in the period. The Herd would increase their lead to 2-0 when Zeb Knutson scored a power play goal with just 9.5 seconds remaining in the period. The Herd kept possession of the puck inside the Waterloo zone and C.J. Franklin took the puck from the right circle and sent it cross ice to Knutson who one-timed the puck from the left circle past Peterson to give the Stampede a two goal edge at the end of one. Sioux Falls outshot the Hawks 13-12 in the period.
It remained 2-0 until 10:11 of the second period when Drew Melanson sent a pass into the slot for Alec McCrea who raced in and wristed a shot past Stampede netminder David Jacobson to cut the Herd’s lead in half at 2-1. The Stamped withstood a flurry of Hawks shots after that goal as Jacobson made several big saves to keep Waterloo off the board. The Herd nearly regained their two goal lead in the final seconds of the period when Louis Nanne broke free down the left wing boards on a breakaway, but was stopped by the glove of Cal Peterson to keep it 2-1 after two periods. Waterloo outshot the Herd 18-5 in the period.
The teams exchanged scoring plays in the third, but it wasn’t until the 16:29 mark that either team would score. An interference call on Ryan Schwalbe put the Black Hawks on their fourth power play of the night and the Hawks would finally convert when Liam Pecararo sent a pass into the slot that was tipped by Alec McCrea through the pads of Jacboson to tie the game 2-2. It appeared that the game might be headed to overtime, but the Stampede would get a power play of their own less than two minutes later and took advantage. Garrett Cecere took the puck through the Hawks defense and skated between the circles before wristing a shot past the stick side of Peterson to regain the lead for the Stampede at 3-2 with 1:46 remaining in the game. Christian Horn sealed the win with an empty net goal with 18 seconds remaining to give the Stampede a 4-2 victory.
Waterloo outshot the Herd 40-28 while going 1-for-4 on the power play and the Stampede were 2-for-2. The Herd return to action this weekend when they play three straight games Friday-Sunday. Friday night the Stampede are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a sweetheart of a deal. Purchase one ticket at regular price and get a ticket for your sweetheart for FREE! Saturday is Man Salon Night and Sunday is Family Night where for $32 fans can receive 4 game tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas and a large popcorn. Contact the Stampede office at 336-6060 for more information.
Jim Olander, Stampede.