Sioux Falls, SD—Jami Krannila tallied a goal and an assist while Jaxson Stauber stopped 18 of 19 shots in goal as the Sioux Falls Stampede topped the Omaha Lancers 4-1 before 5,980 fans at the PREMIER Center Friday night. The Herd improved to 18-9-3 on the season and are tied for fourth place in the Western Conference with Sioux City and just three points behind third place Waterloo. The win was the 11th of the season on home ice for the Herd who are now 10-2-1 since December 1st.
Sioux Falls made it a point before the game to make sure they were ready to play on Friday and avoid a sluggish start like a week ago against the Waterloo Black Hawks and the Herd did just that. Sioux Falls came flying out of the gates against the Lancers and broke through for a goal at 9:32 when Artem Ivanyuzhenkov tallied his 11th of the season. Anthony Romano won a face-off in the offensive zone that went to the top of the right circle for Ivanyuzhenkov who quickly ripped a shot past Omaha goaltender Jon Mor for a 1-0 lead. Sioux Falls controlled play for the remainder of the period and outshot the Lancers 11-2.
Things slowed down a bit in the second with both teams trying to get rolling, but the Herd did grab a 2-0 lead at 11:10 of the period when Brian Chambers tallied his 11th of the season. Max Crozier sent the puck in front of the net to Jared Westcott who got a shot on goal that was stopped, but Chambers skated in and knocked home the rebound to give the Herd a two-goal edge. The Lancers responded just 14 seconds later when Harrison Roy deflected a shot through the pads of Stauber to make it a 2-1 game. That would be the only other scoring in the period and the Stampede took a one goal lead into the intermission, outshooting the Lancers 11-9 in the period.
Sioux Falls picked things up early in the third, scoring just 22 seconds into the period when Jami Krannila brought the puck over the blue line and quickly wristed a shot that went off the stick of Mor and into the back of the net for a 3-1 lead. From there it was all Sioux Falls in the period as the Stampede outshot the Lancers 20-5. Omaha held strong and kept it a two-goal game, but the Herd put it away for good when Ryan Johnson scored an empty net goal from his own zone to make it 4-1 and seal a Stampede victory.
Sioux Falls outshot the Lancers 44-19 on the night and went 0-for-3 on the power play while Omaha went 0-for-1.
The Herd continue their six-game homestand Saturday night with Hockey Day South Dakota. The fun starts at 12:15 at the PREMIER Center with the Sioux Falls Flyers Bantam A team facing Brookings. At 2:15 PM the Sioux Falls Flyers boys varsity squad squares off against Brookings and then the Stampede host Sioux City at 7:05 PM. Tickets are just $12 each and include a ticket to all three games. Fans are encouraged to bring their skates to the game and skate with their favorite Stampede players right after the game. Tickets are available through the PREMIER Center or any Ticketmaster outlet.