Sioux Falls, SD--The Sioux Falls Stampede opened a four-game homestand on the wrong skate as the Tri-City stunned the Herd 5-1 Friday night in the first game of a weekend doubleheader at the Arena. Keith Burchett had the lone goal while netminder Art Brey stopped 30 of 35 Storm shots for the Stampede (20-8-2), who kept within six points within the Western Conference-leading Omaha Lancers but fell to fourth place behind the Sioux City Musketeers.
“I think that sometimes you have a tendency to criticize your own team, but I think Tri-City just flat outworked us,” said head coach Cary Eades. “They were well-deserving of a victory tonight.”
Tri-City netminder Jacob Johansson stymied the normally-potent Herd offense, allowing a lone goal on 32 attempts while Ryan McMurphy had three points for the Storm (10-17-2).
Two Storm scores within 28 seconds of each other dumped the Herd in a quick two-goal deficit in the first period, the first tally coming at the 7:58 when Tri-City winger Ryan McMurphy one-timed a pass in the slot from Kyle Eastman. Sioux Falls had little time to recover as Christian Horn doubled the Storm lead at 8:26 with a swift wrist shot in between the circles that went into the upper right hand corner of the net. The Herd were given a chance to chip away at the lead with a man advantage over five minutes later but were unable to get any quality shots on Johansson.
Though the Herd would start the second period much more aggressive, their efforts would be for naught as the Storm cushion grew to 3-0 on a freak goal at 5:40. The puck slipped into the left side of the net after a scramble in front of Brey, with Tri-City winger Kyle Eastman receiving credit for the wacky score.
“You’re faced with a 3-0 deficit and it’s an awful uphill climb from there,” said Eades.
Two more Tri-City goals in the final period sealed the victory for the club from Kearney, Neb., though a goal from Keith Burchett snapped the shut-out at the 8:16 mark, his third goal in two games. Trailing 4-1, Sioux Falls had another chance on the power play but the Storm tallied a shorthanded goal to clinch the win. The Herd had a rough night on the power play Friday, coming up empty in six man advantages, but did go 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The Stampede will return to the Arena tomorrow evening for another game against the Storm at 7:05 pm. It is “Glow Night.” All fans in attendance will receive a free glow necklace as the lights will be dimmed and the fans light up the stands. Tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.
By Tony Cola
Courtes: University of Sioux Falls