TO THE LIMIT: Muskies Win Game 4 In Sioux Falls
Sioux City Staves Off Elimination With A 2-1 Win Over The Stampede
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With a chance to wrap up the series on their home ice, the Sioux Falls Stampede came up just short in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals, falling 2-1 to Sioux City before 5,831 at the PREMIER Center.
The best-of-five series is now tied at two games apiece with the fifth and final game coming up on Tuesday night in Sioux City. Kieffer Bellows tallied the only goal of the game for the Stampede while Stefanos Lekkas stopped 22 of 24 shots in goal for the Herd. Neither team has won back-to-back games yet in this series heading into the final game.
With their backs up against the wall, the Musketeers came out looking like a team that didn’t want their season to end. After being held scoreless on a power play the Musketeers broke through at the 8:09 mark after Stefanos Lekkas made a pad save Ryan Walker took the puck out of the left wing boards and drove into the slot and backhanded a shot past a stretched out Lekkas to give the Musketeers the all important first goal. The team that has scored first in the series has won all four games. Both teams tallied 10 shots in the period and the Musketeers took that lead into the locker room.
The Stampede stepped up their game in the second, out shooting the Musketeers 18-5 but the game remained tied until the 15:33 mark when the Stampede went on a 5-on-3 power play. Head coach Cary Eades took a timeout to rest his top unit and it paid off as right off the face-off draw, Dillon Eichstadt sent the puck to the right point to Dakota Joshua who one-timed a shot right through the five-hole of Sioux City goaltender Collin Olson and the game was tied 1-1.
Sioux Falls was hoping to carry some of that momentum over into the third period, but the puck would not bounce their way as all 11 shots in the period were stopped by Olson and any rebounds were quickly swept away by the Musketeers defense. It appeared the game might be heading to overtime, but the Musketeers got the eventual game winning goal at 13:37.
Ryan Zuhlsdorf’s shot was blocked, but the puck bounced right onto the stick of Joel Janatuinen who quickly wristed the puck into the net before Lekkas could react and the Musketeers took a 2-1 lead. Sioux Falls pulled Lekkas in the final 90 seconds and generated some good scoring chances, but Olson and the Musketeers were too much for the Herd on this night and the Stampede came up a goal short.
Sioux Falls outshot Sioux City 39-24 on the night and went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Herd were 1-for-3.
The Stampede will now travel down to Sioux City on Tuesday for the deciding 5th game at the Tyson Events Center. Game time is 7:05 PM and fans can catch all the action live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at KELO.com starting at 6:40 PM. The winner will advance to play Tri-City in the Western Conference Final while the loser will see their season come to an end.