Dennis Kravchenko and Zeb Knutson scored twice each while Charlie Lindgren earned his first career shutout in goal with 18 saves as the Stampede rolled over the Tri-City Storm, 5-0, Saturday night in Kearney. Sioux Falls outshot the Storm 42-18 on the night. The win improved their record to 9-4-0 on the season and pulled two within two points of second place Waterloo in the Western Conference.
Todd Skirving extended his goals scoring streak to five games with a first period goal and now has nine goals in his last five games. Krachenko continued his tear with two goals and now has 10 points (4g, 6a) in his last five games.
The game didn’t start the way the Herd had hoped as Tri-City controlled the first five minutes and tallied the first four shots on goal, but Charlie Lindgren controlled the play in goal, stopping the Storm. The momentum would shift at 5:48 when the Stampede went on the powerplay and Dennis Kravchenko took advantage. Kravchenko took the puck from center ice and danced around the Storm defense before wristing a shot between the circles into the upper right hand corner of the net to make it a 1-0 game. The Herd controlled the rest of the period, posting shot after shot on Tri-City netminder Johan Mattsson. Sioux Falls grabbed a two goal lead in the final seconds when Todd Skirving took a pass from Ryan Siiro behind the Storm net before skating in front of the Storm crease and wristing a shot perfectly into the upper left hand corner of the net to give Sioux Falls a 2-0 lead heading into to period two. The Herd outshot the Storm 18-6 in the period.
It was more of the same in the second period as the Stampede continued to dominate play, outshooting the Storm 14-4 in the period. The Herd grabbed a 3-0 lead at 16:09 when Kravchenko took a pass from Sam Rothstein and blasted a shot from the high slot into the upper right hand corner of the net, once again on the powerplay. Sioux Falls held on to that lead going into the third and final period.
Sioux Falls pulled away in the third with two goals from Sioux Falls native Zeb Knutson. Knutson’s first goal came at 6:13 of the period when C.J. Franklin sent a beautiful saucer pass across the ice onto the tape of Knutson who raced down the right wing boards and slapped a shot from the right circle into the bottom left corner of the net to give Sioux Falls a commanding 4-0 lead. That goal sent Mattson to the bench and brought in Christian Frey. Less than three minutes later, Knutson scored again, this time taking the puck in front of the Tri-City bench and racing in all alone on a breakaway before backhanding the shot past Frey for a 5-0 advantage. The Herd outshot the Storm 10-8 in the period.
Sioux Falls finished the night 2-for-3 on the powerplay while Tri-City was 0-for-2. The Herd will return home Saturday to face Lincoln at 7:05 PM for Pink in the Rink night. The Stars lead the Western Conference with an 11-1-0 record.
Courtesy: Jim Olander, Stampede