Cedar Rapids, IA—Another quick start propelled the Stampede to another road victory Saturday night. Thomas Forgione scored twice while Victor Bjorkung added three assists as the Stampede rolled past the Cedar Rapids 6-4 at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. The win was the Herd’s fourth straight on the road and fifth in their last six games overall. The win not only improved the Herd’s record to 37-14-2 on the year, but moved them within three points of Dubuque in the Anderson Cup race.
The Herd came out flying in the first period and scored just 2:37 into the game when Ian Mansfield tallied his 3rd goal of the season. Victor Bjorkung kept the puck in the offensive zone and into the hands of Mansfield who spun at the top of the right circle and wristed the puck into the upper right hand corner of the net to give the Herd a 1-0 lead. Just over two minutes later, the Herd struck again when former RoughRider Thomas Forgione scored on a partial breakaway for his 19th goal of the season. Sam Rothstein sent a pass to Ryan Siiro at center ice who tipped the puck into the Riders zone where Forgione outhustled the defense between the circles and backhanded a shot through the pads of Cedar Rapids goalie Michael Rotolo. Sioux Falls increased their lead to 3-0 at 6:34 when Jake Ahlgren knocked in a loose puck in the crease after a shot from the right point from Bjorkung went through the pads of Rotolo and bounced inside the crease. The Riders would get on the board at 13:40 when Andrew Poturalaski snuck open in front of the net and tapped in a quick pass from Mark Auk to make it a 3-1 game. Sioux Falls took that lead into the locker room, outshooting the Riders 11-8 in the period.
Sioux Falls continued their strong play in the second, scoring three more times. Forgione tallied his second goal of the game just 1:06 in. That goal sent Rotolo to the bench and brought in Chris Birdsall. C.J. Franklin made it a 5-1 game at 3:52 when Dennis Kravchenko passed the puck high off the glass in the Stampede zone and bounced right to Franklin who broke free down the left wing boards and fired a shot past the stick side of Birdsall. Kyle Schempp gave the Herd a 6-1 lead at 6:09 when Kyle Schempp spun around in front of the net and wristed a shot through the pads of Birdsall. The celebration was short lived as Jack Rowe slapped a shot in the high slot past the stick side of Lindgren to make it a 6-2 game. Ian Mansfield was flagged for a check from behind and given a game ejection with 1:07 left in the period, putting the Stampede down a man heading into the third period and without the services of Mansfield for the rest of the night.
Cedar Rapids made things more interesting in the third, scoring two quick goals to pull within two. Andrew Poturalski scored just 1:03 into the period on a powerplay goal to make it 6-3. The Riders pulled within two at 5:29 when Ian Brady took the puck behind the Stampede net and centered it in the slot to Corey Petrash who one-timed the puck past Lindgren. The Riders continued to apply pressure throughout the third period, but Sioux Falls held strong and held off the rally to earn their fourth straight road win.
Cedar Rapids outshot the Stampede 27-22 on the night and went 1-for-3 on the powerplay while the Herd were 0-for-2.
Sioux Falls returns to action this Friday when they travel to Kearney, Neb. to face the Tri-City Storm. Game time is 7:35 PM and the game can be heard live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM & 107.9-FM.