Sioux Falls Stampede Season Comes to an End with a Playoff Loss
** Information provided by Sioux Falls Stampede
Sioux Falls, SD—A team that had several story book endings throughout the entire 2015-16 season couldn’t write one more as the Sioux Falls Stampede fell 4-1 to the Tri-City Storm before 5,861 fans at the PREMIER Center Friday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Storm swept the series 3-0 and advance to the Western Conference Final against either Waterloo or Lincoln while the Herd’s season comes to an end. Carson Gicewciz tallied the Herd’s only goal while Stefanos Lekkas put on one final amazing show for the fans of Sioux Falls in goal, stopping 40 shots.
As expected the Stampede came out of the gate full of energy and both teams created some good scoring chances through the first ten minutes of the game. The Stampede broke through at 12:37 of the first when Carson Gicewicz wristed a shot off the pads of Storm goaltender Jake Kielly to bring all 5,861 fans to their feet and give the Herd a 1-0 lead. Tri-City would battle back and put up 17 shots in the period, but the Stampede held a 1-0 lead entering the second period.
The Storm came out with intensity in the second period and tied the game just 2:57 into the period when Max Humitz capitalized off a turnover and cut in front of the net and backhanded a shot past Stampede goaltender Stefanos Lekkas. Just over a minute later the Storm struck again. Lekkas made a highlight reel pad save on Wade Allison, but the rebound bounced right to Alex Limoges who quickly snuck the puck under the pads of Lekkas to make it a 2-1 game. It looked like the Herd might trail by just a goal heading into the third, but a five-minute major penalty called on Alex Stevens followed by a slashing call against Csanad Erdely resulted in a 5-on-3 advantage for the Storm and they converted with just 34 seconds remaining when Nico Sturm backhanded a loose puck in front of the net for his second of the playoffs and to give the Storm a 3-1 lead. Tri-City outshot the Herd 17-9 in the period.
Sioux Falls threw everything they had at Tri-City in the third, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Lekkas continued to play unbelievable between the pipes making save after save to keep the Herd in the game. A couple of late power play chances didn’t go the Herd’s way once again. Sioux Falls went 0-for-2 on the power play and finished the series 0-for-13. The Storm put the game away for good when Dan Labosky scored an empty netter to make it a 4-1 game.
Tri-City outshot Sioux Falls 44-33 on the night and went 2-for-5 on the power play while the Herd were 0-for-4.