YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (STAMPEDE) — Carl Berglund scored twice and Alec Calvaruso stopped 17 of 18 shots in goal as the Sioux Falls Stampede topped the Youngstown Phantoms 4-1 Friday night at the Covelli Center. The win along with Waterloo’s loss to Chicago put the Stampede in sole possession of second place with 81 points and three games remaining in the regular season. The top two teams in the conference receive first round byes in the Clark Cup Playoffs. Jared Westcott and Blake Bride also tallied goals in the win for the Herd who will go for the weekend sweep of the Phantoms on Saturday night in Youngstown.
The Stampede came out firing out of the gates, but couldn’t get anything past Phantoms goaltender Chad Veltri early. The Phantoms would go on the power play just 2:57 into the game and converted on their first shot on goal of the game. Ben Schoen took the puck into the slot and wristed a shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net past Alec Calvaruso for a 1-0 lead. The Herd would go on the power play later in the period and although they were unable to convert, kept the puck in the offensive zone for the entire power play.
They kept that momentum going after the power play expired and finally broke through at the 17:13 mark on Jared Westcott’s 15th goal of the season. Wescott kept the puck in along the right-wing boards and fed it to Cade Borchardt who quickly sent the puck back in front of the net for Westcott who beat Veltri to tie the game at one. Sioux Falls outshot Youngstown 13-3 in the period.
The Stampede kept the momentum going in the second and took their first lead of the night at 5:46 when Carl Berglund notched his fourth goal of the season, shorthanded. Max Crozier drove the puck into the offensive zone and fed Berglund in the slot who quickly wristed the puck past the stick side of Veltri for a 2-1 advantage. The rest of the period was filled with penalties as both teams had chances on the power play, but couldn’t convert and the Herd took a one goal lead into the third, outshooting the Phantoms 6-5 in the period.
The Stampede gained a two-goal advantage just 29 seconds into the period when Berglund struck for the second time on the night. Berglund took a pass in the slot from Ivanyuzhenkov and wristed a shot that was partially blocked and lifted high into the air and right over the head of Veltri before bouncing into the net for a 3-1 Stampede advantage. Youngstown got a little mojo back as the period went on and outshot the Herd 10-9, but Calvaruso was on top of his game and made some big highlight reel saves to keep the Phantoms of the board to keep it a two-goal lead. The Herd would seal the game with an empty net goal from Blake Bride with 29 seconds remaining to take the game by a score 4-1.
The Stampede outshot the Phantoms 28-18 in the game and finished the night 0-for-6 on the power play while Youngstown finished 1-for-6.
Sioux Falls and Youngstown square off again Saturday night to close out the weekend series. Puck drop is 6:05 PM and fans can catch all the action live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM and KELO.com starting at 5:40 PM.