Fargo, ND - The Sioux Falls Stampede dropped a heartbreaker in Fargo on Friday night at Scheels Arena, putting on a strong showing throughout the night but allowing two goals in the dying minutes to fall 4-2 to the Fargo Force. Michael LaStarza and Daniel Russell had a goal apiece, while Stampede netminder Isak Posch stopped 29 of 32 shots between the pipes.
The Stampede wasted no time in getting on the board, with Michael LaStarza netting the opening goal just 21 seconds into the game for his 11th goal of the season. Entering the zone, LaStarza took the puck directly to the net and shot it under the crossbar, past the Fargo netminder. The Herd would finish the first period being outshot 11-7 by the Force.
Sioux Falls would hold their 1-0 lead until 9:48 in the second period, when Joe Palodichuk tipped the puck past the Stampede netminder in front of the net for his fifth of the year. Daniel Russell would answer back for the Herd with his 14th goal of the season less than three minutes later on the power play when he sniped a shot from the slot. Sioux Falls outshot Fargo 19-11 in the period.
Former Stampede player JP Turner would tally the equalizer for the Force just 3:49 into the third period. Just when it seemed like these two teams would wrap up regulation play in a tie, Cole Knuble knocked one in off a bad bounce in the crease for Fargo to give them a one-goal lead with just 1:49 remaining. The Stampede would immediately pull their goaltender for the extra attacker, but Fargo would net an empty-net goal at 19:33 in the period to make it 4-2.
The Stampede outshot the Force 16-11 in the third period and 42-33 in the game. They went 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The Stampede continue their weekend series against Fargo tomorrow night with a 6:05 PM scheduled start time before traveling home to host the Force on Sunday. Puck drop is at 4:05 PM and there will be a post-game skating party on the ice following play. Tickets are still available at sfstampede.com/tickets. Fans can tune into KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM, and KELO.com, or stream the action on HockeyTV.