Indianapolis, IN (KWSN)- Zeb Knutson is on fire to start the 2013-14 season. In a night in which 11 total goals were scored, #11 led the team to victory. Knutson became just the third Stampede player to score four goals in a game as he helped lift the Stampede to a 6-5 victory over Indiana Friday night in Indianapolis. Knutson joins Thomas Vanek and Robbie Vrolyk as the only Stampede players to score four goals in a game. He also became the first Stampede player since Matt Ford in 2004 to record back-to-back hat tricks and now has seven goals in two games.
C.J. Franklin added a goal and two assists while Dennis Kravchenko added two assists of his own in the victory. Art Brey earned his first win in a Stampede uniform, stopping 33 of 38 shots on the night. The Herd are now 2-0-0 on the season for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
The Herd wasted little time picking up where they left off last week as Zeb Knutson tallied his fourth of the year just 3:05 into the period. Dakota Joshua brought the puck down the right wing boards and dropped the puck to Franklin who centered through the slot to Knutson who then wristed a shot past the glove side of Indiana netminder Jason Pawloski. Three minutes later, the Ice got a goal of their own when Alex Talcott one-timed a pass from Matt Roy past the left pad of Stampede goaltender Art Brey to tie the game. Just over three minutes later, the Ice grabbed the lead when Talcott sent a pass through the slot to Joshua Jacobs who wristed the puck past the glove of Brey to make it a 2-1 game. The Ice would take that lead into the locker room, outshooting the Stampede 10-6 through the first 20 minutes.
The first period would be followed by a crazy second period. Indiana scored 8:36 into the second period to take a 3-1 lead, but C.J. Franklin scored on a beautiful shot just two minutes later. Zeb Knutson dug out the puck in the right circle and fed Franklin alone in front of the net who put the puck perfectly into the upper left hand corner of the net. The celebration was short lived, however as Joe Sullivan tipped in a shot from the point just 14 seconds later to give the Ice a 4-2 edge.
The Stampede would respond from there, scoring three times in the final six minutes. Franklin sent a pass through the slot to Knutson at 14:36 to make it a 4-3 game. 40 seconds later the game was tied when Tony Calderone and Griffin Molino sent a pass up the left wing boards and slapped a shot from outside the left circle into the upper left hand corner of the net to make it 4-4. Knutson recorded a hat trick with just 42 seconds remaining in the period when R.J. Majkozak’s blast was stopped by Pawloski, but Knutson hammered home the rebound to complete the hat trick and give the Stampede their first lead of the night at 5-4. Indiana outshot the Herd, 10-8 in the period, but the Stampede had the 5-4 lead heading into the final period.
The Ice pulled even with the Herd 12:13 into the third period when Patrick Newell tipped in a shot from Denis Smirnov that went through the pads of Brey. Less than three minutes later, Sioux Falls went on the power play and took advantage when Knutson tallied his fourth goal of the night. Knutson took a pass over the blue line from Peter Hand and toe-dragged the puck through the slot before wristing a shot past the glove of Pawloski to give Sioux Falls a 6-5 advantage. Indiana would go on two power plays of their own late in the game, including the final two minutes, but the Herd held them off to earn their second straight win to start the season.
Indiana outshot the Stampede 38-24 on the night, but went 0-for-6 on the power play while the Herd went 1-for-2.
The Stampede travel to Cedar Rapids on Saturday to face the RoughRiders at 7:05 PM. Fans can listen to the game live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at www.kelo.com. The Herd’s home opener is set for Friday, October 4th when the Stampede host Omaha at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena box office or any Ticketmaster location.
Courtesy of Sioux Falls Stampde