For the second straight game the Stampede played without some key players and for the second straight game, the Herd won on the road. Preston Hodge’s first goal as a member of the Stampede in the second period proved to be the eventual game winner as the Stampede downed the Sioux City Musketeers 3-1 Sunday night at the Tyson Events Center. The win moved the Stampede into sole possession of first place in the West with a 15-7-1 record, one point ahead of second place Waterloo and two points ahead of third place Lincoln.
Cody Milan and C.J. Franklin scored while Charlie Lindgren won his 10th game of the year with 21 saves. A total of 20 penalties were called in the game, though none were for fighting. The win improved the Stampede’s record to 3-0-0 this season against Sioux City.
It was a penalty filled first period as both teams exchanged powerplay chances all period long, but it was the Musketeers who got the first goal of the game as the clock expired in the first. While on the powerplay, Riley Bournbonnais skated around the Stampede defense into the right circle and wristed a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net with just two seconds remaining to make it a 1-0 game. A total of nine penalties were called in the first period, Sioux Falls going 0-for-5 while Sioux City went 1-for-4.
In the second, the Stampede tied the game just 2:33 in when Cody Milan recorded his third goal of the season. Ian Mansfield made the play happen behind the net, wrestling the puck away from a Sioux City defender behind the net and then sliding the puck into the right circle where Milan found a small open spot under the stick side of Musketeers netminder Joe Ballmer to make it a 1-1 game. More penalties would fill the second period and Sioux Falls would take advantage at 16:39 when Preston Hodge tallied his first goal as a member of the Stampede. Thomas Forgione’s shot went off the left pad of Ballmer and out to the top of the right circle where Hodge blasted a shot into the net to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 lead. The Herd would begin a five minute powerplay late in the period, an advantage that would continue into the third.
In the third, Sioux Falls was unable to convert on the long advantage and both teams went back-and-forth with scoring opportunities, but neither would score. Lindgren continued his strong play in goal and the Herd defense held strong. The Stampede sealed the game with 35 seconds remaining when C.J. Franklin batted the puck along the left wing boards and wristed a shot into the empty net, his eight of the season, to give the Stampede a 3-1 victory.
The Herd finished 1-for-10 on the powerplay while Sioux City was 1-for-8. Both teams ended the evening with 22 shots on goal.
Sioux Falls returns to action on Saturday when they travel to Lincoln in a battle for first place in the West. Game time is 7:05 PM and can be heard on KELO-AM 1320 and www.keloam.com
Courtesy: Jim Olander, Vice President Broadcast & Communications, Sioux Falls Stampede Hockey