The Stampede tried to rally from a two goal deficit in the third period, but came up just short in a 3-2 loss to the Omaha Lancers Wednesday night at Ralston Arena. The loss dropped the Herd’s record to 29-12-2, but they remain three points ahead of Fargo for first place in the West. The Lancers moved within four points of the Herd for first place in the conference.
Eight penalties against the Herd was the difference in the game as the Herd spent most of the night trying to kill of penalties. Omaha finished 1-for-8 on the power play while the Herd were 1-for-2. Kyle Schempp and C.J. Franklin scored while Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves in the loss for the Herd who are now 1-3-0 against Omaha and 0-3-0 at the new Ralston Arena.
Omaha got an early powerplay, but the Herd played well defensively keeping the Lancers off the board. Omaha would break through however, at 8:14 when Trent Samuels Thomas tipped in a pass from Gage Hough past the pads of Stampede goaltender Charlie Lindgren. Sioux Falls would respond just minutes later though as Kyle Schempp knocked the puck loose in front of the Lancers bench and raced down the right wing boards, cutting in front of the goal and wristing a shot past Omaha netminder Alex Lyon to tie the game at one. Sioux Falls outshot the Lancers 11-9 in the period.
In the second, Sioux Falls found themselves trying to kill to kill of several penalties in the period and it caught up with them when the Lancers went on a 4-on-3 advantage midway through the second. Matias Cleland took the puck in the high slot and blasted a shot that went just wide of the net, but bounced to the right circle for Jake Randolph who quickly batted the loose puck past a diving Lindgren and into the net to regain the lead for Omaha at 2 to 1. The Herd tried to battle back, but Lyon shut the door and the Lancers took their 2-1 lead into the locker room despite the Herd outshooting Omaha 12-11 in the period.
Omaha increased their lead to two goals at 6:51 when Luca Frigo took a pass in front of the net from Tucker Poolman and backhanded a shot that went through the pads of Lindgren and into the net to give the Lancers a 3-1 advantage. Sioux Falls broke through at 9:59 when they scored on a powerplay of their own. Off a face-off, Zeb Knutson blasted a shot from the high slot that was stopped by Lyon, but the rebound came to C.J. Franklin who tucked the puck just under the crossbar to make it a 3-2 game.
The Herd then got into some penalty trouble and were down two men for 1:13, but played well defensively and killed both penalties off, giving them a chance to tie the game. With a minute left in regulation, Lindgren was pulled for an extra attacker and the Herd threw a flurry of shots onto the net, but couldn’t get the bounce they were looking for. In the final seconds of the period, Sioux Falls had six forwards on the ice, but Lyon made a huge blocker save in the crease and the rebound was cleared out of the zone and the Lancers skated away with their sixth straight victory. Sioux Falls outshot the Lancers 35-32 on the night.
The Herd will get another shot at Omaha this Friday when they return home to face the Lancers at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available and can be purchased through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office. Sioux Falls will entertain Lincoln on Saturday which is also the 6th annual Sioux Nation Pet Clinic Wiener Dog Races during the first and second intermission. Information can be found by visiting www.sfstampede.com