Sioux Falls, SD--The Sioux Falls Stampede continued to prove they can get scoring from a different player any given night as a pair of three-point games from Ryan Siiro and Sam Rothstein powered the home team past the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 7-4 in front of 3,864 at the Arena Saturday night.
“Everyone on our team expects to produce offensively,” said Siiro. “It provides competition at practice so everyone gets better from that. We just work hard and get the ugly ones.”
Five players in all marked the scoreboard for the Herd while goaltender Jan Obernesser allowed four RoughRider goals on 23 attempts. At 18-8-1, the Stampede have more wins than all of last season and head into the Christmas break in first place in the West.
Cedar Rapids jumped on an early power play opportunity for a quick 1-0 lead at 5:21 on a Dylan Steman deflection, but a little more than two minutes later the Herd responded with a stylish goal of their own from Siiro. The Princeton recruit lifted a rebound from a Thomas Forgione shot into the top right corner of the net for his third tally of the season.
The Herd enjoyed a case of Déjà vu in the second period as a monstrous performance from the Herd goal scorers gave their team a 4-2 lead heading into the final twenty minutes, a near clone of last night’s contest against the Tri-City Storm. Vinny Muto started the rally with a long wrist shot from the right side, tying the game again after the Herd fell into a brief 2-1 hole only 1:49 after hopping onto the ice. 57 seconds later forward and former RoughRider, Thomas Forgione, chimed in with his own contribution, a loud one-timer from a beautiful Siiro pass in front of the crease.
“It felt great,” said Forgione on scoring on his team of last year. “I know a lot of the guys on the team so it was definitely nice to beat them.”
Siiro finished off the run with his second goal of the game and second point of the period when he sliced a shot from the right circle past Birdsall, getting the Herd in a prime position to enter the last period of play with a two goal advantage.
“We have guys that can play under pressure. They don’t back down and they don’t get nervous,” said head coach Cary Eades. “We play to win; we don’t play not to lose. I like our team attitude in the third period and we’ve done a nice job thus far this season.”
Sioux Falls’ lead was chopped in half to 4-3 a mere 49 ticks into the final period by RoughRider Andrew Ogilvie, but goals from Sam Rothstein, Zeb Knutson and last night’s star Tony Calderone would be enough to carry the Herd to a 7-4 victory over Cedar Rapids. The victory guaranteed the Herd would go into the Christmas break with a two point first place lead in the Western Conference.
“We know it’s going to be a horse race here and we’re one of the competitors,” said Eades. “We built a very small lead, and we like the direction the team is headed.”
Sioux Falls will travel to Fargo on Friday to face the Force at 7:35 pm. Pregame coverage with Jim Olander can be heard on KELO-AM 1320.