Sioux Falls, SD—The Stampede will wake up in the morning hope it was all just a bad dream, but Wednesday night was anything but that at PREMIER Center. Sioux Falls (32-18-8) went 0-for-9 on the power play and couldn’t get anything to connect despite posting 32 shots on goal, falling to the Musketeers (25-26-7) 6-0.
It marked the first time this season the Herd have lost three straight games as they enter the final two games of the regular season. The loss ensures a first round matchup next week with Lincoln with the location still to be determined. Sioux Falls can clinch home-ice with a victory Friday over the Fargo Force at the PREMIER Center.
The Stampede were hoping to get off to a fast start on Wednesday night, but the exact opposite happened. Sioux City scored just 43 seconds into the game when Matyas Svoboda deflected a shot from the left point past Stampede goaltender Mikhail Berdin for a 1-0 lead. The Herd applied some pressure as the period went on and had a couple power play opportunities, but could not convert. The Musketeers added to their lead with just 14 seconds remaining in the period when Cole Koepke wrapped the puck around the net and snuck it past the pads of Berdin for a 2-0 advantage after one period. Sioux City outshot the Musketeers 10-8 in the period.
Sioux Falls was hoping to get it going in the second, but it would be the Musketeers who kept the pedal to the medal. Parker Ford gave Sioux City a 3-0 lead when he wristed a shot past Berdin. It remained that way until 11:05 when Ford struck again, this time weaving his way through the Stampede defense and sliding in through the slot where he wristed a shot through the five-hole of Berdin for a 4-0 lead. That sent Berdin to the bench and brought in Jaxson Stauber. The Stampede had three more power play opportunities as the period went on and even a 5-on-3 for the final minute of the period, but could not find a way past Sioux City goaltender Ben Kraws. Sioux City outshot Sioux Falls 15-13 in the period.
Any hopes of dramatic comeback in the third were cut short at 7:42 when Micah Miller broke free in front of the Stampede net and wristed a shot into the back of the goal. The Musketeers poured some salt on the Stampede’s wound at 15:09 when Aaron Grounds found Matt Miller open on a 2-on-1 who one-timed the pass in the slot and past Stauber for a 6-0 lead. The Stampede generated a few other scoring changes, but couldn’t solve Kraws and were unable to find the net all night.
Sioux City outshot the Stampede 34-32 on the night and finished 1-for-4 on the power play while going a perfect 9-for-9 on the penalty kill.
The Stampede close out the home portion of their regular season schedule on Friday night when they host Fargo at 7:05 PM. It is also Take My Jersey Night, presented by Waterbury Heating & Cooling and Coleman Heating & Air Conditioning. Fans can purchase raffle tickets during the game for a chance to win a game worn jersey right off the players backs after the game. Proceeds from the raffle benefit Make-A-Wish South Dakota. Tickets are available through the PREMIER Center or any Ticketmaster outlet.