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Stampede Win Thriller

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Sioux Falls, SD--The Sioux Falls Stampede would need more than three periods to get the victory Sunday evening as they sunk the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in a shootout by a score of 3-2 at the Arena.  Kyle Rankin had the clinching goal in the fourth round of the shootout while Todd Skirving and Justin Selman each scored for Sioux Falls (16-32-6) in regulation.  Goaltender Jay Williams stopped 21 of 23 Cedar Rapids shots he faced.  Thomas Forgione and Dylan Gareau had the goals for the RoughRiders(23-20-11), while goaltender Matt McNeely had 34 saves.  Eleven of the Stampedes 16 wins on the season have now come on home ice.


“Our fans get what this is all about,” said head coach Kevin Hartzell, adding later, “I’m really proud of our fan support.” 


The Stampede were able to put several quality shots on McNeely in the first period and went on their first power play of the game at 3:49 when John Gilmour went off for slashing.  However, Sioux Falls would not capitalize on the chances, allowing Cedar Rapids to open the scoring with 4:16 left when Thomas Forgione deflected a Preston Hodge shot past Williams right side, making the game 1-0.  Williams, who stopped five of six shots he faced, prevented any further damage with under a minute left with a huge save on a Cedar Rapids three-on-one rush.  Each team went 0-fo- 1 on the man advantage in the period.  


Hard work finally paid off for the Herd in the second period when they would score shorthanded on a goal from Todd Skirving.  The play started when Zac McCarver intercepted a pass at center and sent Skirving in on a breakaway down the left wing boards for his team leading 17th goal of the season. It was the first shorthanded goals scored by the Herd this season. The Stampede weren’t done yet in the period, as Justin Selman doubled his teams lead at 14:55 when he wristed a shot past McNeely’s glove side.   Cedar Rapids evened the score with 2:32 remaining in the period when a Dylan Gareau shot took an unfortunate ricochet off of Williams stick and into the net.  Williams ended up stopping six of seven shots put his way in the period.  As was the case in the opening period, each team went 0-for-1 on the power play. 


The RoughRiders were given a prime opportunity to seize the lead only 55 seconds into the period when Sioux Falls was hit with a penalty for too many men on the ice.  Sioux Falls killed off the man advantage with little trouble and went on a power play of their own at 10:50 thanks to a Dylan Gareau roughing call.  However, they would be unable to score and both teams headed to overtime.


Stampede found themselves in great position to seal the victory in the extra period, starting overtime on the power play and even going on a 5-on-3 for a full 60 seconds.  Cedar Rapids netminder Matt McNeely was on top of his game and stopped all three quality scoring shots in overtime to keep the game even and eventually force a shootout.


In the shootout, neither team scored through three rounds and after Dennis Kravchenko was stopped by Williams it set up a chance for Kyle Rankin to win the game and he did not disappoint as he backhanded the puck past the glove side of McNeely and the Stampede went home happy with the victory.


“I was planning to go backhand all along,” said Rankin.  “I was lucky to have it go in.”


Sioux Falls would end the night 0-for-4 on the power play, while Cedar Rapids would go 0-for-3. 


The Stampede will return to action this Friday and Saturday when they host the Fargo Force and Tri-City Storm on Friday and Saturday respectively at 7:05 PM.  Both games are expected to have big crowds so get your tickets in advance at the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office.


Courtesy: Tony Cola, Sioux Falls Stampede


Follow KDLT Sports at @KDLTSports and KDLT Weekend Sports Anchor Kolbe Nelson at @KolbeNelson for opinions, links, and updates on Twitter. And don't forget to check out the KDLT Sports Facebook Page

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