Sioux Falls, SD--A late power play gave the rival Sioux City Musketeers the advantage as they scored 58 seconds into overtime and beat the Sioux Falls Stampede 1-0 in front of 4,217 at the Arena Friday night. Stampede netminder Art Brey stopped 28 of 29 shots from the Musketeers as his team snapped a four-game home pointless streak with the OT loss.
“I thought our team played great,” said Brey. “We took a big step forward even though we didn’t get the win. I thought we had a really strong game.”
The Herd dropped just a point behind the Musketeers for third place but fell to 11 points behind the conference-leading Omaha Lancers.
Neither team put up a score in a shot-filled first period, though the Herd got several quality shots on Sioux City netminder Kyle Hayton. The Herd whiffed on the lone man advantage chance they had, while their I-29 counterparts went 0 for 2.
The goalie duel between Brey and Hayton continued into the second period, where both teams remained goal-less after another twenty minutes. Sioux Falls received the lone power play in the period, a slashing call on Sioux City’s Blake Heinrich. Brey remained a steady presence in net, pushing away all seven Musketeer shots thrown at him.
“They (the defense) played a heck of a game,” said Brey. “I saw every puck and if I didn’t they blocked the shot. They definitely made my job real easy tonight.”
Matters stayed square at zero through the third period, despite the Herd getting three power play opportunities. Sioux Falls had a prime opening with a 5-on-3 at 6:40, but still couldn’t find a way to get anything past Hayton. The game’s momentum changed for good when the Musketeers went on the power play with just 26 seconds remaining in the third after Jack Stander was flagged for a high stick when he tried to clear the puck behind the Stampede net.
Sioux City didn’t wait long to end the game in the extra period, sealing the hard-fought victory at the 0:58 mark when Jake Montgomery punched in a shot from the right side on a nice pass from Brandon Hawkins. The Herd finished the disappointing night 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Musketeers struck gold once in three chances, the lone goal being the difference in the contest.
“We’re headed in the right direction, but we just didn’t get it tonight,” said Brey.
Sioux Falls will return to the Arena tomorrow night to face the Des Moines Buccaneers at 7:05 pm. The first 500 children 16 and-under will receive a FREE Stampede 15th anniversary replica jersey, compliments of Waterbury Heating & Cooling and Coleman. Doors open at 6:15 PM and tickets are available at the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office. The Stampede business office will also be open from 12 PM to 5 PM Saturday. Fans can reach the Stampede office at 336-6060 or stop in at person at the Birdcage (1001 N. West Avenue). By Jim Olander