Big Lead Holds For Fargo Against Stampede
Herd Fall 5-3
Sioux Falls, SD—The Stampede tried to rally from a 4-0 deficit to the Fargo Force, but came up just short in a 5-3 loss before 5,075 fans at the PREMIER Center on Sunday. The Herd pulled within a goal in the final ten seconds of regulation, but Fargo scored an empty net goal in the final seconds to secure their sixth win this season against the Herd who fell to 14-15-3 on the season. Jack Doremus, Jack Becker and Josh Passolt all scored for the Stampede who are still 3-2-1 in their last six games. Mikhali (Me-CALE) Berdin started the game and stopped five of eight shots faced while Jeremey Swayman stopped 12 of 13 shots in the game.
The first seven minutes of the period looked much like any typical Stampede/Fargo matchup with neither team scoring, but the Force would quickly change that at 8:21 when Evan Bell took a pass off a face-off at the left point and blasted it through traffic and past the glove side of Stampede goaltender Mikhali Berdin. Fargo added to their lead at 10:04 when Hank Crone picked up a loose puck in the slot to make it a 2-0 game. 12 seconds later Fargo extended their lead to 3-0 when Charlie Dovorany picked up a rebound off the pads of Berdin and quickly buried the puck to quickly give the Force a commanding lead. In a span of 1:55 the Force scored three times and took a 3-0 lead that they would take into the intermission, outshooting the Stampede 10-7. Jeremy Swayman replaced Berdin after the Force’s third goal.
The Stampede really struggled to start the second period as passes were still off and the squad looked a little tired with their third game in as many days. Fargo extended their lead at 13:37 when Grant Meyer snuck through the Stampede defense and skated in on a breakaway where he perfectly placed the puck into the upper right hand corner of the net to make it a 4-0 game. Sioux Falls tried to rally and came close several times, but hit a cross bar and a goal post plus had an apparent goal taken away after a hand pass was called. Through all that, the Herd were finally able to break through when Jack Doremus brought the puck into the Fargo zone and fired a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net to make it a 4-1 game at 18:26.
The Stampede tried to rally in the third and pulled within two goals at 7:13 of the period when Nathan Dingmann and Josh Passolt set Jack Becker in front of the Fargo goal and Becker netted his third goal of the weekend and seventh of the season to make it a 4-2. The Herd had a couple more power play opportunities in the period, but couldn’t convert and still trailed by two late in the game. The Herd pulled Swayman with 2:30 left in the game for an extra attacker, but weren’t able to convert until just 10 seconds remained in regulation when Josh Passolt picked up a pass from Justin Wells in front of the net and put it home to pull within a goal at 4-3. The Herd’s hope for an historic comeback were cut short off the ensuing face-off as a pass attempt was blocked and Shane McMahan skated in and scored and empty net goal to give the Force a 5-3 victory.
Sioux Falls outshot the Force 12-6 in the third period and 25-22 in the game, but went 0-for-6 on the power play while Fargo finished 1-for-3.
The Stampede return to action this Friday and Saturday when they travel to Waterloo to face the Black Hawks for a weekend series at Young Arena. Game times are 7:05 PM each night and fans can catch both games live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and kelo.com starting at 6:40 PM.