Sioux Falls, SD—The Stampede went all pink for their annual Pink in the Rink night, but came up just a half a second to late in a 2-1 loss to Fargo before 10,067 fans at the PREMIER Center Saturday night. Trailing by a goal in the final seconds, Cade Borchardt’s shot at the buzzer went through the pads of Fargo goaltender Matthew Sankner, but the referee determined it came just after the horn had sounded, handing the Stampede (6-2-2) a heartbreaking loss in front of the biggest crowd of the season. Goals based on the clock are not reviewable in the USHL. Jami Kranilla scored the Herd’s only goal while Jaxson Stauber stopped 21 of 23 shots in goal. It was the first home loss (4-1-0) this season for the Herd.
After a scoreless first period in which both teams tallied nine shots on goal, the Force broke through to tally the first goal of the game at 7:16 of the second period. Zach Faremouth took the puck behind the Stampede net and sent a perfect pass in front of the net to Aaron Huglen who quickly wristed the puck past the glove side of Jaxson Stauber for a 1-0 lead. The Stampede did have a power play in the period and produced some quality scoring chances, but Matthew Sankner shut the door and kept the Herd off the board. Sioux Falls outshot Fargo 15-10 in the period.
Fargo added to their lead at the 6:49 mark of the third period when Jake Harrison fired a shot to the goal that was deflected off the stick of Ben Meyers and slid under the right arm of Stauber for a 2-0 lead. The Stampede got a couple power play chances later in the period, but couldn’t get anything past Sankner who continued to play solid throughout the period.
The Stampede would pull Stauber with two minutes left in the period for an extra attacker and finally found the back of the net with 1:23 remaining in regulation. Ryan Johnson sent a pass over to the right point for Jami Kranilla who blasted a shot through traffic and past Sankner to bring the Sioux Falls faithful to their feet. The Herd kept Stauber pulled and appeared to tie the game in the final second on the shot from Cade Borchardt, but the referee waved off the goal and the Force escaped with a 2-1 win.
The Herd outshot the Force 11-4 in the third period and 35-23 on the night. Sioux Falls finished 0-for-5 on the power play while Fargo was 0-for-4.
The Stampede now have a quick turnaround as they travel to Des Moines to face the Buccaneers at 3:05 PM Sunday afternoon. Fans can catch all the action on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM and KELO.com starting at 2:40 PM with pre-game coverage.