The Sioux Falls Stampede held off a late rally from the Sioux City Musketeers to earn a huge 3-2 win Saturday night at the Tyson Events Center. The win improved the Herd’s record to 28-15-6 and within one point of Sioux City for third place in the Western Conference. Art Brey turned aside 38 of 40 shots while Dennis Kravchenko, Dakota Joshua and Christian Horn all provided goals in the victory for the Stampede who are 4-0-2 in their last six games. The Stampede’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is seven points with 12 games remaining the regular season. Any combination of Stampede wins and Des Moines losses totaling seven points will clinch a spot in the postseason for the Herd.
Fans were treated to a faced pace, back-and-forth first period that saw the Herd grab the first goal of the game at 9:35 on a power play goal from Dennis Kravchenko. Christian Horn sent the puck into the left wing corner for Zeb Knutson who sent the puck cross ice to Kravchenko who one-timed the pass into the back of the net past Sioux City goaltender Kyle Hayton to make it 1-0. The Musketeers would tie the game at 14:45 when Cedric Lacroix took the puck behind the Stampede net and sent it right in front to Kyle Schmidt who one-timed the puck through the five-hole of Stampede netminder Art Brey to make it 1-1. Sioux Falls would regain the lead late in the period while on the penalty kill. Dakota Joshua took a nice pass up the left wing boards from R.J. Majkozak and wristed a shot from the left circle past Hayton to score shorthanded and give Sioux Falls a 2-1 advantage.
It remained a one goal game until the 13:42 mark when the Herd made 3-1 on a goal from Christian Horn. Logan O’Connor sent the puck up the right wing wall who quickly sent it over the blue line and down the left wing wall to C.J. Franklin who skated towards the net and sent a perfect pass onto the tape of Horn who one-timed the puck into the back of the net to give Sioux Falls a 3-1 advantage. Sioux City wouldn’t got away quietly in the period though as they pulled back within a goal on a power play goal from Kyle Schmidt who fired a shot from just inside the left circle and into the upper right hand corner of the net, past the glove side of Brey to make it 3-2. Sioux City outshot the Herd 10-7 in the period and 26-22 through two periods.
Sioux Falls went on the power play in the third, but it was the Musketeers who nearly took advantage. The Muskies intercepted a pass at the blue line and broke in on a breakaway, but Brey slid from left to right and stopped the shot to keep the Herd up by a goal. Late in the period, it looked like history may repeat itself with a late Musketeers goal as Sioux City was given a power play with just under three minutes remaining, but Brey and the Stampede penalty kill unit stood strong to hold off the Musketeers and earn the 3-2 victory despite being outshot 14-2 in the second period and 40-24 in the game. Sioux Falls finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play while Sioux City was 1-for-6.
The Stampede return to action next Friday when they travel to Des Moines to face the Buccaneers at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch the game live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at www.kelo.com starting at 6:40 PM. The Herd return home March 14th and 15th for a two-game homestand against the Chicago Steel. Tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.
Courtesy: Jim Olander, Stampede