Urbandale, IA (KWSN) —The explosive offense that Sioux Falls Stampede fans grew to love during the 2012-13 season was on display in their season opener Saturday night as the Herd topped the Des Moines Buccaneers, 6-4 at Buccaneer Arena. The Herd trailed 2-0 early in the first, but rallied for five unanswered goals en route to the victory.
Sioux Falls native, Zeb Knutson tallied a hat trick while Dennis Kravchenko (Krav-chink-oh) tallied three assists and David Jacobson stopped 13 of 17 shots to earn the victory in goal for the Herd who are now 1-0-0 on the young season.
The Stampede looked good in opening moments of the game, but the Bucs stole the momentum with a couple power play goals in the first. Ryan Galt got the Bucs on the first after he backhanded a loose rebound shot past Stampede netminder David Jacobson at 6:18. Just over a minute later, the Bucs struck again on the power play when Patrick Grasso slapped a puck in the slot through the pads of Jacobson to give Des Moines a 2-0 edge. It stayed that way until 18:33 of the period when Dennis Kravchenko and C.J. Franklin sent a pass through the slot to Zeb Knutson who backhanded a shot past the pads of Buccaneers netminder Billy Christopoulos to make it a 2-1 game. Knutson struck again with just 18 seconds remaining in the period when he one-timed a pass in the slot from Kravchenko into the back of the net to tie the game 2-2 heading into the second period. The Herd outshot the Bucs 15-10 in the period.
Sioux Falls grabbed their first lead of the game just 1:45 into the period when Cody Milan sent a puck through the crease where Michael Buonincontri slid in and knocked it through the pads of Christopoulos to make it a 3-2 game. The Herd made it a 4-2 game at 7:25 when Peter Hand’s blast from the left point was tipped in by Conner Valesano and into the net. Tony Calderone added to the lead at 15:18 when he wristed a shot from inside the left circle into the upper left hand corner of the net. That sent Christopoulos, but it seemed to spark the Bucs who scored at 16:06 when Ryan Galt tipped in a puck in front of the net from Tanner Karty to make it a 5-3 score at the end of two periods.
The Bucs took that momentum into the third period and got within a goal when Ryan Galt completed his hat trick just 3:41 into the period when he tipped in a shot from Jack Jenkins. Less than three minutes later, Jenkins checked the Stampede’s Peter Hand from behind and was given a double minor and a game ejection. That put the Herd on the power play for four minutes and they took advantage, scoring at 8:16 of the period when Knutson tallied his third goal of the night by deflecting in a shot from Hand. That goal proved to be the game winner as the Stampede held off the Bucs to earn a season opening victory.
Sioux Falls outshot Des Moines 31-17 on the night and went 1-for-2 on the power play while the Bucs went 2-for3.
The Stampede return to action on Friday when they travel to Indianapolis to face the Indiana Ice at 6:05 PM. Fans can hear the game live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at www.kelo.com.
Tickets for the Stampede’s home opener on Friday, October 4th are now available through the Sioux Falls Arena box office or any Ticketmaster location. Season, group and suite tickets are available now through the Stampede office by calling 336-6060.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede