Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede came to play Friday night and topped Western Conference leading Tri-City 4-1 at the PREMIER Center. Ethan Phillips tallied a goal and an assist while Alec Calvaruso stopped 18 of 19 shots in goal as the Stampede earned their ninth straight home victory and improved to 30-12-4 on the season. The Herd remain just two points back of second place Waterloo and increased their lead over fourth place Des Moines by seven points. The win ended an eight-game unbeaten streak in regulation for the Storm who are now 35-10-1.
After a scoreless first period, things went on the offensive in the second. The Herd started the period on the power play and cashed in 58 seconds into the period when Cade Borchardt sent a perfect pass across the slot to Austen Swankler who quickly one-timed the puck past Tri-City goaltender Isaiah Saville for a 1-0 lead. It remained that way until the 6:08 mark when Andre Lee found Sam Stevens inside the left circle and Stevens blasted a shot that went just under the crossbar and in. The puck actually bounced out of the net on the shot and play continued for another minute before a stoppage. It was at that time the goal was reviewed and it was clear on the replay that it crossed the line and into the net, resulting in a goal and a 2-0 lead for the Stampede.
The Storm battled back though and got a power play chance just seconds later and cashed in at 7:24 when Brendan Budy took the puck from the bottom of the right circle and lifted it over the left shoulder of Stampede goaltender Alec Calvaruso to make it a 2-1 game. Ten seconds later, the Herd were back up by two goals. Anthony Romano sent a pass to Ethan Phillips and as the puck was bouncing in the slot he backhanded it over the right arm of Saville and into the net for a 3-1 lead. The Herd would take that lead into the locker room, outshooting the Storm 11-7 in the period.
Any chance of a Storm comeback were taken away just 23 seconds into the period when Cade Borchardt sent a pass up the right-wing boards to Jami Krannila who backhanded another bouncing into the back of the net for his 15th goal of the season and a 4-1 lead. Things got a chippy as the period went on, but the Stampede held firm and didn’t allow the Storm much room to budge. The Storm outshot the Herd 6-1 in the period, but Calvaruso was solid in between the pipes and the Herd earned a hard fought victory.
The Storm outshot the Stampede 19-16 on the night and finished 1-for-4 on the power play while the Herd went 1-for-2.
These two teams will face-off again Saturday night at the PREMIER Center in a rematch. Puck drop is 7:05 PM and tickets are still available through the PREMIER Center. It is also Special Olympics Night, presented by Modern Woodmen of America. Fans can take part of a silent auction of sports and entertainment packages in the main concourse with all proceeds benefiting Special Olympics of South Dakota.