Four power play goals and a hat trick from Dennis Kravchenko helped the Sioux Falls snap a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory at the Viaero Event Center Saturday night. Dakota Joshua added a goal and an assist while Tony Calderone added two assists in the win for the Stampede who improved to 21-11-2 on the year and into a third place tie with Sioux City with 44 points. David Jacobson earned his 14th win of the season in goal with 28 saves for the Herd who improved to 12-4-1 on the road this season.
The Herd looked like a different team right out of the gates, creating scoring chances right off the puck drop and grabbed the game’s first goal at 8:44 on a powerplay goal from Dennis Kravchenko. Griffen Molino wristed a shot that was stopped by Tri-City goaltender Jacob Johansson, but Kravchenko jumped on the rebound and wristed the puck into the back of the net to give Sioux Falls a 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until the 16:45 mark when C.J. Franklin scored a power play goal of his own. Franklin took a long ice pass from goaltender David Jacobson down the left wing boards and blasted a shot from the top of the circle into the upper right hand corner of the net to give the Herd a 2-0 edge heading into the second period. Sioux Falls outshot Tri-City 16-7 in the period.
Tri-City cut the Herd’s lead in half just 5:09 into the second when Nolan Aibel tallied a power play goal to make it a 2-1 game. The Herd would respond just three minutes later though when Dakota Joshua jammed in a loose puck in the crease with assists from Calderone and Stephanik on the power play. Sioux Falls took a commanding 4-1 lead at 11:20 with another power play goal from Dennis Kravchenko. Jack Stander took the puck in the right wing corner and sent the puck cross ice to Kravchenko who jumped off the bench and into the play, slapping the puck into the upper left hand corner of the net to end Jacob Johansson’s night. The Herd added to their lead at 16:31 when Ed McGovern’s tipped in a shot from Dakota Joshua with the team’s playing 4-on-4 and Sioux Falls held a 5-1 lead at the end of two periods in Kearney. Sioux Falls outshot the Storm 11-7 in the second.
Tri-City made a rally in the third, scoring three times to cut the Herd lead to just one at 5-4. Two of the goals came via the power play, starting with Garrett Cecere at 6:38. Austin Poganski tallied another power play goal six minutes later to pull the Storm within two. The Storm really made things interesting when Ryan McMurphy took the puck inside the left circle and blasted a shot past Jacobson into the upper right hand corner of the net to make it a 5-4 game. The Herd would bend, but wouldn’t break as Kravchenko would seal the game with an empty net goal, his third of the night, with 32 seconds remaining. Kravchenko chipped the puck out of the Stampede zone to himself and then wristed a shot from the center red line in to the back of the net.
Sioux Falls outshot Tri-City 35-32 on the night and finished the evening 4-for-8 on the power play while Tri-City was 3-for-8.
Sioux Falls returns home next weekend for games against Sioux City and Des Moines on Friday and Saturday night. Game times are 7:05 PM and tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office. Saturday is Replica Jersey Night. The first 500 fans through the doors will receive a FREE Stampede 15th anniversary replica jersey, compliments of Waterbury Heating & Cooling and Coleman.
Courtesy: Jim Olander, Vice President Broadcast & Marketing, Sioux Falls Stampede Hockey