Geneva, IL—The Sioux Falls Stampede rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period, only to see the Chicago Steel score the eventual game winner with just 4:42 remaining in regulation and fell 4-2 to the Steel Saturday night. The Stampede finish their five-game road swing with a 3-2-0 mark and sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, just three points behind second place Waterloo in the Western Conference. Matt Gould and Kevin Conley tallied the goals for the Stampede while Mikhail Berdin stopped 21 of 24 shots in goal. Despite the loss, the Herd are still 9-2-2 in their last 13 games.
The first period did not go according to script for the Stampede who saw first-hand how explosive the Chicago Steel offense can be. The Steel grabbed the first goal of the game 7:08 into the game when Eric Otto broke into the Stampede zone and feed Hunter Johannes in the slot who broke to the edge of the left circle and wristed a shot under the left pad of Mikhail Berdin for a 1-0 lead. The Steel made it a two-goal game at 14:51 when Graham Lillibridge found Blake McLaughlin who slipped the puck under the pads of Berdin for a 2-0 advantage. The Steel outshot the Stampede 10-4 in the period.
The Stampede tried to battle back in the second and had a great opportunity to get back in the game late in the second period with a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:10. The Herd held good possession of the puck, but were unable to get a quality shot on goal and ended the period still trailing the Steel 2-0 despite outshooting Chicago 12-6.
Sioux Falls battled back in the third and got on the board just 2:40 into the period on Matt Gould’s second goal of the season. Jack St. Ivany sent a shot towards that net and Gould was able to get his stick down to deflect into the back of the net to make it a 2-1 game. Less than two minutes later the Herd tied the game when Kevin Conley posted his 14th goal of the season. Reid Stefanson took the puck at the top or the right circle, spun around and wristed a shot right through the pads of Oskar Autio to tie the game, 2-2.
The Herd had a few chances to take their first lead of the night, but couldn’t get the bounce they needed and the game remained tied late into the period. Chicago started gaining momentum as the period went on and regained the lead at 15:18 when Samuel Bucek brought the puck into the Stampede zone and wristed a shot right over the right shoulder of Berdin and into the upper left hand corner of the net for a 3-2 advantage. The Stampede pulled Berdin late for an extra attacker, but the Steel sealed the victory with an empty net goal with 43 seconds remaining.
Chicago outshot the Stampede 9-8 in the period and 25-24 on the game. Sioux Falls finished the night 0-for-3 on the power play while Chicago was 0-for-1.
The Stampede return to the PREMIER Center for their only three-home-game weekend of the season next weekend. The fun starts on Friday when they host Sioux City at 7:05 PM for Stomp’s Birthday Bash, presented by Dental Solutions. On Saturday, the Herd host Chicago for Special Olympics South Dakota night, presented by Modern Woodmen of America. The weekend concludes on Sunday when the Herd host Lincoln for Non-Profit Night. Tickets for all three games are available through the PREMIER Center or any Ticketmaster outlet.