Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede put up a season high 40 shots and tallied a season high five goals in as they rolled past the Lincoln Stars, 5-2 Saturday night at the PREMIER Center in their final game before the winter break. Sioux Falls goes into the break having gone 5-3-1 in their last nine games.
Cal Thomas tallied two goals while Blake Humphrey added two assists and Noah Grannan earned his fourth victory with 28 saves for the Stampede who are 9-13-1 on the season and just one point back of sixth place Fargo in the West.
The first period was full of fun and excitement for all fans in attendance. Four goals were scored in the period and all took place in the final five minutes of the opening frame. The Herd got things going at 15:11 when Cal Thomas took a pass through the crease and into the left circle where he blasted a shot into the back of the net to make it a 1-0 game. Seconds later, the stars would respond when Carter Schade blasted a shot just under the crossbar to make it a 1-1 game at 15:45.
The Herd would regain the lead with a power play goal at 17:22 when Blake Humphrey found Garrett Pinoniemi open in front of the net and he ripped a shot into the net for his eighth of the season. Seconds later, the Herd would get flagged for a penalty and the Stars would take advantage. Goaltender Noah Grannan made a nice stop off his pads, but the puck bounced into the crease where Griffin Juerecki dove in and knocked the puck into the goal to tie the game, 2-2. Sioux Falls outshot the Stars 11-10 in the period.
The second period would bring some more excitement for fans at the PREMIER Center as the Herd would regain the lead after throwing 18 shots on goal. Sioux Falls would receive a power play just over four minutes into the period, but would convert just seconds after Lincoln went back to full strength. Blake Humphrey took the puck in front of the net and wristed a shot that was stopped, but Jack Silich hammered home the rebound to give the Stampede a 3-2 advantage. Later in the period Sioux Falls would go on a two-minute, 5-on-3 power play, but were unable to connect and would take their one goal lead into the locker room, outshooting the Stars 18-7 in the period.
Sioux Falls looked to add to their lead in the third to give themselves a little breathing room and they would do just that at 9:01 of the period. Jack Reimann drove to the Lincoln net and was able to knock a bouncing puck under the pad of Lincoln netminder Ben Behrens to make it a 4-2 game. It remained that way until late with the Stars would go on the power play and pull Behrens, but Cal Thomas intercepted a pass in between the circles in the Stampede zone and sauced it the length of the ice and into the net to seal a 5-2 victory for the Herd.
The Stampede outshot the Stars 40-20 and finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play while going 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Sioux Falls is now off for the holiday break until December 28th when they play host to the Omaha Lancers at 7:05 PM. The InSports Stampede Skills Camp will take place during the afternoon that day with the game set for that night. Parents can still sign their children up through the Stampede website at sfstampede.com. Tickets for the game are on sale now through the KELOLAND Box Office or Ticketmaster.