Lincoln, NE (KWSN) — A rough first period that saw the Stampede allow three goals resulted in a tough 6-4 loss to the Lincoln Stars Friday night at the Ice Box. The loss dropped the Herd’s record to 34-18-7, but still just two points behind Sioux City for third place in the West with one game remaining in the regular season. A win by the Stampede and a Sioux City loss on Saturday would give Sioux Falls the third seed in the West and a first round matchup with Omaha. A Stampede loss or Sioux City win will give the Herd the fourth seed and a first round matchup with Waterloo.
Dakota Joshua, Chad Duchesne, Tony Calderone and Nolan Gluchowski all scored for the Herd who rallied twice in the game only to give up a goal that would extend the Stars lead back to two each time. Art Brey stopped 26 shots in goal for the Herd who finished with a 4-2-0 mark against the Stars this season.
The Stars owned the first period against the Stampede scoring three goals 2:33 apart to take a 3-0 lead. Hunter Anderson started the scoring at 9:16 of the first when he lifted the puck into the upper left hand corner of the net past Stampede goaltender Art Brey. Just over a minute later it was Christian Lampasso who was left alone in front of the net to make it 2-0 and 58 seconds later Blake Christensen made it 3-0 when he took a pass from Hunter Anderson and found the back of the net. Sioux Falls settled down after that, but went into the locker room trailing by three and being outshot 14-9.
In the second, Sioux Falls had new life and got on the board 9:19 in on the power play. Griffen Molino found Dakota Joshua open inside the right circle and Joshua’s wrist shot went through the pads of Lincoln goaltender Michael Bitzer to make it a 3-1 game. 24 seconds later the Herd pulled within a goal when Chad Duchesne’s tough angle shot found its way past Bitzer and into the net to make it 3-2. It remained that way until the final minute of the period when a John Simonson into the Stampede crease was knocked in by a diving Brandon Smith to give Lincoln a 4-2 advantage after two periods. Sioux Falls outshot Lincoln 13-11 in the period.
In the third, the Herd gained the momentum right back as Tony Calderone connected on a pass in the slot from Eduard Simmun just 2:50 in to pull within a goal. It would be short lived though as the Stars regained their two goal lead less than three minutes later on a goal from John Simonson. The Stars squashed any hope of a Stampede comeback at 9:36 when Zach Frye blasted a shot from the right point past Brey to give Lincoln a 6-3 edge. Nolan Gluchowski would add a power play goal later in the period for the Stampede, but that would be as close as they would get as they fell 6-4, despite outshooting Lincoln 33 to 32 on the night. The Herd finished the night 2-for-3 on the power play while Lincoln was 1-for-2.
Sioux Falls closes out the regular season at home on Saturday when they host the Omaha Lancers at 7:05 PM. The first 2,000 fans through the doors will receive a team poster, compliments of Sioux Falls Ford. It is also Sioux Falls Ford “Take My Jersey Night” where fans can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a Stampede game worn jersey. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Dakota. Tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede