LINCOLN, NE -- A rough first period that saw the Sioux Falls Stampede allow three goals resulting 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 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 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 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.

Twenty-four seconds later the Herd pulled within a goal when 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 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 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.

 

Sioux Falls Stampede

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede