Urbandale, IA—In a game the Stampede won’t soon forget, Sioux Falls scored four powerplay goals and rolled over the Des Moines Buccaneers 7-1 Friday night for their eighth straight win. A franchise record 295 combined penalty minutes were called in the game, including 195 on the Buccaneers. The Stampede were flagged for 100 minutes, just two shy of a franchise record. Sioux Falls finished the game 4-for-19 on the powerplay. It was the first of nine straight on the road for the Herd.
Tony Calderone led the way with his first career USHL hat trick while Zeb Knutson added two goals of his own. Sam Rothstein added two assists while Charlie Lindgren earned his 17th win of the season in goal. The win was the Herd’s 11th in 12 games and improved their record to 24-8-1 on the season, keeping them in sole possession of first place in the West.
The Stampede wasted little time getting their nine-game road trip off to a good start. Tony Calderone tallied his 15th goal of the season just 1:33 into the game when he took a pass from Sam Rothstein inside the left circle and blasted it past the stick of Des Moines goaltender Nick Ellis. Less than four minutes later, Calderone scored again to give the Herd a 2-0 advantage. Todd Skirving drove towards the net and backhanded a shot that was stopped by Ellis, but Calderone skated in quickly and knocked in the rebound to give the Stampede a two goal advantage. Both teams exchanged power plays, but neither would score as the Herd went into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead. Sioux Falls outshot Des Moines 14-7 in the period.
The second period was filled with penalties as the Bucs took penalty after penalty. Sioux Falls took a 3-0 lead 8:45 into the period when Zeb Knutson scored on the powerplay. Preston Hodge slid the puck into the right circle where Knudson one-timed the puck through the pads of Ellis. Minutes later, Knudson struck again on the powerplay when he knocked home a loose rebound. C.J. Franklin took a pass from Preston Hodge where he wristed a shot onto the net that was stopped by Ellis, but Knudson raced in for the rebound and snuck the puck over the line to give the Stampede a 4-0 advantage. With 6:06 remaining, Max Birkinbine was awarded a penalty shot for Des Moines, but Charlie Lindgren made a glove save to keep the Bucs off the board.
The Bucs continued to find themselves in the penalty box as the period went on, giving the Stampede three five-on-three advantages during the period. Zeb Knutson was lost for the night when he got tangled in a fight and the Bucs also lost two players with penalties. There was a total of 6 minutes and 21 seconds of five-on-five play during the entire period. Sioux Falls entered the third period on a 5-on-3 for over two minutes to start the third.
Sioux Falls took advantage in the third when Calderone completed the hat trick by scoring 1:47 into on the advantage to make it a 6-0 game. Thomas Forgione got on the board just over a minute later when he took a pass from Todd Skirving for a powerplay goal. More penalties would follow as the two teams would not play 5-on-5 hockey until just six minutes remained in the third. In all, well over a period was played with a team down at least one man.
Conner Valesano completed the scoring for the Stampede at 16:41` when he took a pass from Kyle Schempp and slipped the puck under the pads of Ellis to give Sioux Falls a 7-0 lead. David Jacobson played the last half of the third period and made several nice saves before Max Birkinbine deflected a shot in to make it a 7-1 game.
Sioux Falls outshot the 50 to 23 on the night. The Stampede return to action Saturday when they travel to Sioux City to face the Musketeers at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch the game live on KELO-AM 1320 starting at 6:40 PM.