Sioux Falls, SD—Blake Bride tallied two goals and an assist as the Sioux Falls Stampede rolled past the Green Bay Gamblers 5-2 before 5,584 at the PREMIER Center Friday night. Artem Ivanyuzhenkov, Ethan Phillips and Nick DeSantis all scored in the Herd’s third straight victory. Alec Calvaruso stopped 28 of 30 shots in between the pipes to earn his second straight victory. The Herd improved to 12-7-3 on the season and are 4-0-1 during the month of December.
Coming off a thrilling come-from-behind victory the night before the Herd were looking to continue the momentum into Friday night and they would do that. After failing to convert on an early power play the Herd struck at 3:51 when Max Crozier sent a pass into the right circle for Blake Bride who quickly batted the puck past the stick side of Green Bay goaltender Evan Fear for a 1-0 lead. The Herd built off that continued to pepper Fear, but he stood tall and kept the Herd off the board. Green Bay outshot the Herd 9-8 in the period.
The Stampede continue the strong play early in the second when Ethan Phillips tallied his fourth goal of the season, on the power play, just 2:09 into the period. Anthony Romano got the puck over the blue line to Phillips who danced around defenders and cut inside the slot where he wristed a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net for a 2-0 advantage. Phillips has now tallied at least one point in all ten games he has appeared in with the Stampede this season. It also marked the fifth power play goal in the last two games for the Herd. Sioux Falls added to their lead at 6:59 of the period when Blake Bride found Artem Ivanyuzhenkov in the slot who wristed the puck right through the five-hole of Fear for a three goal lead. Alec Calvaruso continued his strong play in between the pipes and turned aside all 9 Gamblers shot in the period to hold a 3-0 lead after two periods.
Sioux Falls kept the pressure rolling into the third and scored just 33 seconds in when Jami Krannila broke into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 with Bride who took the pass at the edge of the left circle and wristed a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net for a 4-0 advantage. The Stampede put the game away for good at 4:39 when Austin Swankler took the puck behind the Green Bay net and fed Nick DeSantis who one timed the puck into the back of the net for his first career USHL goal to make it 5-0. Green Bay would score two goals later in the period, but it wouldn’t matter as the Herd cruised to victory.
Sioux Falls outshot the Gamblers 31-30 on the night and went 1-for-5 on the power play while going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Stampede and Gamblers square off again Saturday night at the PREMIER Center on Ugly Sweater Night. The first 1,000 fans receive a color changing Stampede cup and the players will be wearing special jerseys that will be available through a silent auction to benefit The Salvation Army. Santa Claus himself will be at the game as well. Tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet.