LINCOLN, Neb. – The Sioux Falls Stampede finished the weekend splitting the series against the Lincoln Stars with a 5-3 victory Saturday night at the Ice Box. Austin Heidemann scored twice in the contest, while the Stampede finished three of four on man-advantage opportunities. Jaxson Stauber made the start in net, stopping 31 of 34 shots.
For the second straight night, the Lincoln Stars jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Christian Sarlo tallied his twelfth goal of the season at the 5:41 mark and Matthew Miller scored his eighth on the power play with 2:53 remaining in the period. The Stars dominated the first period by outshooting the Herd 14-3.
The Herd cut the deficit in half with a power play goal 16:49 into the second period. Jared Westcott provided a perfect cross-ice assist on the play, as Heidemann put it in on the one-timer from the left circle for the lone goal in the period. His third goal in as many games.
The tempo picked up in the third for the road warriors 4:10 into the third. Jared Westcott scored his second in as many games, seventh on the season, with a beautiful one-time blast on the power play from Garrett Pinoniemi to tie the game. Heidemann scored his second goal of the evening on goaltender Jacob Mucitelli six minutes later for the 4-3 lead. Less than fifteen seconds later Gabe Temple found the back on the net to extend the lead by two.
Late in the third Will Dineen took an elbowing and game-misconduct penalty to give the Stars a five-minute major penalty. The Stars capitalized with a goal from Josh Lopina with 3:03 left in regulation, but with the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker Ryan Sullivan scored the empty-net goal to seal the 5-3 victory.
The Stars finished the contest outshooting the Herd 34 to 23. Defenseman Chase Foley finished the game with three assists for Sioux Falls.
The Stampede improve to 12-14-3 on the season and move into seventh place in the Western Conference.
The Herd will return to action next Friday and Saturday at the PREMIER Center for a BiteSquad Rivalry series with the Sioux City Musketeers. Puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Fans can catch the game streaming live at HockeyTV.com or listen live on KELO Radio 107.9 FM, 1320 AM or Kelo.com.