WHO: Stampede (36-15-7) at Phantoms (33-20-5)
WHEN: Tonight (Friday) 6:05 PM
WHERE: Covelli Centre
RADIO: KELO 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM or click here to listen live
VIDEO: HockeyTV: Click here
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Stampede open a weekend series against the Youngstown Phantoms. This weekend marks the only time this season these two teams will face each other during the regular season. Last season, the Herd split a weekend series against the Phantoms at the PREMIER Center.
STAMPEDE UPDATE: The Stampede are coming off big back-to-back wins at the PREMIER Center. On Saturday, Sioux Falls blanked the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 5-0 and this past Tuesday, the Herd rolled over Lincoln by a score of 8-1. Blake Bride has been hot of late, tallying five points (4g, 1a) in his last two games. Andre Lee tallied a goal and two assists on Tuesday night while Artem Ivanyuzhenkov and Ryan Johnson both posted a goal and an assist in the win.
The Herd enter tonight tied with Waterloo for second place in the West with 79 points with four games remaining. The first tie breaker for playoffs is regulation and overtime wins which Waterloo leads 35 to 33 over the Stampede. The second tiebreaker is head-to-head which the Stampede would win. The top two teams from each conference receive first round byes while the third and fourth place seeds will host a best-of-three first round series against the fifth ands sixth place seeds. The playoffs begin the week of April 15th.
PHANTOMS UPDATE: Much like the Stampede, the Phantoms are in the thick in a race for second place over in the Eastern Conference. They enter tonight with 71 points and just one point back of Chicago for second place and a first-round bye with four games remaining on the schedule. It’s a remarkable turnaround for a team that started the season 1-6-1.
The Phantoms have been hot off late, going 13-2-1 in their last 16 games entering tonight. Last weekend, Youngstown split a weekend series with the U.S. Development program. On Saturday, the Phantoms dropped an 8-1 decision to the U.S. Under-18 program. They bounced back on Sunday for a 4-3 victory over the U-17 squad.
Youngstown is led by Brent Murray who is second in the USHL in scoring with 71 points (39g, 32a) in 58 games this season. A familiar face may greet the Stampede in goal tonight as they could face Chad Veltri. Veltri appeared in 10 Stampede games early in the season, posting a 3.75 GAA. He has since posted 15 wins and a 2.66 GAA with the Phantoms.
UP NEXT: The Stampede close out their series against Youngstown tomorrow night at 6:05 PM. Fans can catch both games on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM and KELO.com. The Herd return home next weekend for the final regular season homestand of the season. Friday, April 12th is Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Signature Companies and Saturday, April 13th is Take My Jersey Night, presented by Waterbury Heating & Cooling and Coleman Heating & Air Conditioning. Tickets are on sale now through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet.