Muskies Hold Off Stampede
Herd Fall At Sioux City 4-2
Sioux City, IA—The Sioux Falls Stampede tried to rally, but the Sioux City Musketeers showed why they are the best team in the USHL on Friday night, topping the Herd 4-2 at the Tyson Events Center. Sioux City (39-10-7) has now won 15 of their last 16 games and can clinch the Anderson Cup for the best record in the USHL Saturday or Sunday. Jeremy Swayman was the start of the night for Sioux Falls, stopping 38 shots and keeping the Herd into the game until the final seconds of the game. Gavin Hain and Jack Becker scored for the Stampede (19-29-9) who have just three games remaining in the regular season.
After a scoreless first period in which Sioux City outshot the Stampede 13-7, things picked up in the second period. The Musketeers broke through just 1:42 into the period when Eeli Tolvanen sent the puck down the left wing boards before sending a pass across ice to right circle for Phillip Knies who wristed a shot past the stick side of Stampede goaltender Jeremy Swayman for a 1-0 lead. The Musketeers continued to buzz around the Stampede net with 14 shots in the period, but Swayman kept the game close.
Sioux Falls got on the board during their fourth power play of the game when Gavin Hain scored at 16:50. Mitch Perrault took the puck into the slot and wristed a shot that was stopped by the pad of Musketeers goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks, but the rebound bounced to Hain who quickly knocked it into the back of the net for his fourth of the season. The celebration by the Herd was short lived as the Musketeers regained the lead 1:11 later when Odeen Tufto wristed a shot from the left circle and snuck it under the right arm of Swayman for a 2-1 lead. Sioux City outshot the Herd 14-5 in the period.
Sioux City added to their lead 7:26 into the third period when Sampo Ranta backhanded a shot that slid through the crease and off of Swayman’s stick and into the net to extend the Musketeers lead to 2-1. The Herd wouldn’t quite though and kept pushing and were able to pull back within a goal at 16:07 when Justin Wells’ shot from the left circle went through traffic and past Kivlenieks to make it a one goal game. The Herd pulled Swayman in the final minute and nearly tied the game with a flurry of chances in front of the Musketeers net who eventually cleared the zone and ended the game with an empty net goal for the 4-2 win.
Sioux City outshot the Herd 15-11 in the period and 42-23 on the night. The Musketeers finished the night 0-for-4 while the Stampede were 1-for-4.
The Stampede close out the weekend with a trip to Buccaneer Arena against the Des Moines Buccaneers Saturday night. Puck drop is 7:05 PM and fans can catch all the action on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and KELO.com starting at 6:40 PM. The Herd will close out the season next Friday and Saturday with two games against the Musketeers at the PREMIER Center. Tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.