A valiant third period rally from the Sioux Falls Stampede came up just a bit short as they fell by a deceiving 8-3 score to the Waterloo Black Hawks Friday night at the Arena. Sioux Falls (20-11-2) came within 4-3 in the final period after goals by Tony Calderone, C.J. Franklin and Dennis Kravchenko, but the Waterloo response would be too much for the Herd as they promptly replied with four straight tallies, including a heart-breaking freak fifth goal that bounced off a skate, to finish out the game.
“We battled back to 4-3 and they got one of the luckiest goals of the year,” said head coach Cary Eades. “That’s kind of the way things are going right now.”
The loss finished out a four-game homestand for the Stampede in which they went 0-4-0 against three different conference rivals. Goaltender Art Brey stopped 31 of 39 Waterloo shots, while his team went 0-for-4 on the power play.
Another rough first period featuring two goals by Waterloo winger Blake Winiecki dumped the Herd into a 2-0 deficit following the game’s first 20 minutes. The forward opened the scoring at the 3:52 mark and followed up that tally with a goal a little over 13 minutes later with 3:02 to go in the period, taking his time in front of Brey and slamming a shot from the right circle through the goalie’s five-hole. Sioux Falls had difficulty getting into any kind of offensive rhythm in the first, managing a mere four shots on Petersen in the period.
Things didn’t get any easier for the Herd in the following period, despite being handed three power play chances from the Black Hawks. The two-goal lead became a three-goal hole a mere 58 seconds into the second when Herd defender had trouble controlling a puck on the left side, allowing Liam Pecararo to sneak in, swipe the puck and wrist it on in from the left circle. Three straight Herd man advantages went unrewarded before Waterloo struck once more in the second, this time a shot into the upper right hand corner of the net from Black Hawk forward Zach Sanford that bumped it to a 4-0 contest.
Three Stampede goals within 5:30 pumped some life back into the Sioux Falls offense, getting the club within 4-3 with 7:30 to go in the all-of-a-sudden white knuckle match. Tony Calderone got the Herd on the board at the seven minute mark of the third period when he knocked in a loose rebound. Moments later, C.J. Franklin tallied his 12th goal of the year shorthanded to pull the Herd within two. Just over two minutes after that the Herd made things interesting when Griffen Molino intercepted the puck behind the Waterloo net and centered in the slot to Dennis Kravchnko, who blasted the puck into the net to make it a 4-3 game and brought all 4,277 fans to their feet.
“We really worked for our goals and made it a hockey game, so there are some definite building blocks coming out of tonight,” said Eades.
However, the tide would turn for good against the Herd on an absolutely absurd goal when a centering attempt by a Waterloo player bounced off the leg of a Sioux Falls defenseman and into the net past Brey. Sioux Falls never recovered from the unfortunate score, permitting three more Waterloo goals, including two shorthanded and the Hawks topped the Herd 8-3.
Sioux Falls will look to bounce out of their slump when they travel to Kearney, Neb. on Saturday to face the Tri-City Storm at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch all the action live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at www.kelo.com starting at 6:40 PM.
Courtesy: Tony Cola, Stampede