WHO: Stampede (39-16-7) at Tri-City (45-12-5)
WHAT: Game 3 of Western Conference Final (SF leads 2-0)
WHEN: Tonight (Friday) 7:05 PM
WHERE: PREMIER Center
TICKETS: Click here
PROMO: First 4,000 fans receive a free Stampede Playoff Towel courtesy of SFSH
RADIO: KELO 1320-AM, 105.1-FM or click here to listen live
VIDEO: HockeyTV: Click here
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Stampede face Tri-City in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. The Stampede grabbed the first two games of the series in Kearney on Tuesday and Wednesday. A win tonight by the Stampede would clinch the Western Conference title and advance to the Clark Cup Final. A Tri-City win would for a Game 4 in the series, tomorrow night at the PREMIER Center at 7:05 PM.
TAILGATE PARTY: There is NO tailgate party tonight due to weather. Should there be a Game 4 tomorrow, a tailgate party will take place outside the Birdcage from 5-6:30 PM. Fans can get a hot dog, chips and drink for just $5. There will also be music, inflatables and lawn games. There is no cost to attend the event!
GAME 1 RECAP: The Stampede scored twice in the second period and once in the third period to top Tri-City by a score of 3-0 on Tuesday night. Blake Bride, Andre Lee and Cade Borchardt all scored goals while Jaxson Stauber stopped all 24 shots faced to earn the shutout in goal. The Stampede have now won the first game of the series in all three playoff series this postseason.
After a scoreless first period, the Stampede got on the board in the second when Blake Bride scored at 6:32. Minutes later the Stampede went on a power play and converted when Jami Krannila found Lee open in front of the net and he quickly turned and fired the puck under the crossbar for a 2-0 lead. Tri-City pushed in the third to try and get on the board, but Stauber was outstanding between the pipes and the Herd sealed the game when Cade Borchardt scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation.
Stauber became the first goaltender since Charlie Lindgren in 2013 to earn a shutout in goal for a playoff game. Lindgren blanked the Lincoln Stars 2-0 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals in 2013. Stauber is 6-1 so far during the postseason.
GAME 2 RECAP: The Stampede rallied from a 1-0 defect to score four unanswered goals to take game two, 4-1. Filip Forsmark got the Storm on the board at 17:41 of the first on a nice backhand shot. It remained that way until 17:01 of the second when Carl Berglund batted a bouncing puck over the pad of Tri-City goaltender Isaiah Saville and into the net to make it a 1-1 game. Eighteen seconds later the Herd had their first lead of the night when Andre Lee wristed a shot just under the crossbar for a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Max Crozier gave the Stampede some breathing room at 7:45 of the third when his blast from the right point went into the upper right-hand corner of the net for a 3-1 lead. Sioux Falls added an empty net goal from Jared Westcott to seal it in the final minutes. Jaxson Stauber earned his seventh win of the playoffs, turning aside 31 of 32 shots on the night.
STAMPEDE UPDATE: The Stampede enter the Western Conference Final after defeating Sioux City in the first round (2-0) and Waterloo in the second round (3-1). The Herd are coming off a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over the Black Hawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi-Final last Wednesday at the PREMIER Center.
Max Crozier leads the team in playoff scoring with nine points (3g, 6a) while 19 players on the roster have tallied at least a point so far in the postseason. Jaxson Stauber his 7-1 in the postseason with a 1.43 GAA and a .944 save percentage.
STORM UPDATE: The TrI-City Storm enter the conference final after receiving a first-round bye and then sweeping the Des Moines Buccaneers in three games in the second round.
The Storm won the Anderson Cup for the best record in the regular season and showed that they are poised to make another Clark Cup title run by dismantling the Des Moines Buccaneers in three games. Having not played a real meaningful game in several weeks, the Storm sure didn’t look sluggish to start their postseason run, rolling over Des Moines 8-3 in Game 1. They followed that up with a 2-0 shutout victory over the Bucs in Game 2 and then rolled over Des Moines at Buccaneers Arena, 5-1.
Shane Pinto has been on fire to start the playoffs, posting eight points (3g, 5a) while Brendan Furry has four goals in just five games. The Storm are home to the USHL Defenseman of the Year and USHL Player of the Year in Ronnie Attard who put up amazing numbers as a defenseman. He led the team in scoring with 65 points (30g, 35a) in just 48 games during the regular season. Shane Pinto was second with 59 points (28g, 31a) and 27 points in 26 games with Tri-City after coming over from Lincoln in a trade.
UP NEXT: Should the Storm win tonight, Game 4 would take place tomorrow night at the PREMIER Center. Tickets for that game will go on sale immediately following tonight’s contest at the PREMIER Center Box Office. Puck drop would be 7:05 PM. Should the Stampede win, the Herd will advance to the Clark Cup Final to face either Muskegon or Chicago. That series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 taking place tonight in the windy city. Stay tuned to sfstampede.com and follow the Herd on social media @sfstampede for the latest Clark Cup Playoff information.