Muskegon, MI—Cade Borchardt’s goal with 5:16 remaining in regulation completed another comeback for the Sioux Fall Stampede as they topped the Muskegon Lumberjacks at 3-2 Sunday afternoon. The Herd trailed 2-1 entering the third period, but got goals from Anthony Romano and Borchardt to earn a weekend split against the Eastern Conference leading Lumberjacks (31-11-3). It marked the fourth time this season the Stampede won a game when trailing after two periods. Alec Calvaruso was solid in between the pipes making 25 saves for his 12th win of the season.
The win moved the Stampede (27-12-4) within two points of second place Waterloo with two games in hand and padded their lead over Des Moines to five points for third place in the West. The Herd are now 9-4-1 against Eastern Conference teams this season.
The Stampede came out firing Sunday afternoon and grabbed the first goal of the game just 1:40 into the contest when Artem Ivanyuzhenkov tallied his team leading 21st goal of the season. Jami Krannila raced in front of the Muskegon net and got the puck onto the goal before Ivanyuzhenkov skated in and knocked home the rebound to grab the first goal of the game for the Herd. Muskegon responded just two minutes later when Andrej Kollar deflected a pass through the slot and into the upper right-hand corner of the net.
It remained a 1-1 game until late in the period when the Lumberjacks were able to strike again. Danil Gushchin drove the puck behind the net and fed Alex Gaffney who was left open inside the left circle and ripped a shot over the shoulder of Alec Calvaruso to make it a 2-1 game. The Herd entered the second trailing by a goal, despite being outshot 15-8.
After scoreless second period in which Muskegon outshot the Herd 10-9, Sioux Falls put their rally caps on in the third. The Stampede tied the game at 4:31 when Anthony Romano collected his 16th goal of the season. Jared Westcott broke down the right wing boards and into the Muskegon zone before sending a perfect pass through the slot to a streaking Romano who backhanded a shot through the pads of Muskegon goaltender Ryan McInchak to make it a 2-2 game. It remained that way until the 14:44 mark when the Herd took their first lead of the night. Yan Kuznetsov took a shot from the high slot that was stopped, but Alex Stevens collected the rebound and sent a perfect pass in front of the net to Cade Borchardt who quickly knocked it home to give the Herd a 3-2 lead.
Muskegon pulled their goaltender in the final two minutes, but the Stampede defense and goaltender Alec Calvaruso played strong to stop all nine Muskegon shots in the third period to guide the Herd to victory. Sioux Falls outshot the Lumberjacks 32-27 on the night and went 0-for-3 on the power play while Muskegon was 0-for-5.
The Stampede return to action this weekend when they play another three games in three days. The open the weekend Friday in Sioux City against the Musketeers at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch all the action live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM and KELO.com starting at 6:40 PM. The Herd return home on Saturday for the 12th annual Sioux Nation Pet Clinic Wiener Dog Races at 7:05 PM against Omaha. Tickets are on sale now through the PREMIER Center or any Ticketmaster outlet.