The Sioux Falls Stampede rallied from a late two goal deficit to top the Lincoln Stars, 5-4 in overtime Saturday night before 9,744 fans at the PREMIER Center for Pink in the Rink night. With the largest crowd of the season behind them, the Stampede battled back from a 4-2 deficit and Eric MacAdams provided the game winner just 1:09 into the overtime as the Herd ended a two game losing streak and improved to 5-7-1 on the season. Gavin Hain, Jaxon Nelson, Alex Stevens and Will Garin all scored in the victory while Mikhail Berdin put another solid outing together with 26 saves for his third win of the season.
The Stampede began the game shorthanded just seconds into the contest and were forced to go on the penalty kill for the first two minutes that they were able to kill off, only to see the Stars score just seconds after the penalty expired. Henry Bowlby drove into the right circle and backhanded a shot that went under the glove of Stampede goaltender Mikhali Berdin to give Lincoln a 1-0 edge. Sioux Falls controlled play for much of the rest of the period, outshooting the Stars 17-7, but came up empty offensively and trailed 1-0 heading into the second.
After the Stars extended their lead to 2-0 early in the second, Sioux Falls finally broke through at 10:22 when Gavin Hain scored his first career USHL goal when his blast from the left circle clanked off the crossbar and then off the back of Lincoln goaltender Cayden Primeau and into the net to make it a 2-1 game. Lincoln dominated most of the period, outshooting the Herd 16-4, but led by just a goal heading into the third.
If you like scoring, the third period was for you. Lincoln took a 3-1 lead at 4:12 when Jake Nielsen broke free shorthanded and beat Berdin on a backhand shot. Sioux Falls responded on the same powerplay however as Jack St. Ivany found Jaxon Nelson to the left of the Lincoln goal and Nelson quickly wristed a shot into the back of the net to bring the Herd back within a goal. It stayed that way until late in the period when the Stars regained their two goal lead as Bowlby tallied his second of the night at 14:37.
Right when it looked like the Herd might be out of it, Jack Becker won a face-off in the offensive zone back to Alex Stevens who blasted a shot from the right point into the back of the net to make it a 4-3 game. The Stars tried to extend their lead again when Mike Gillespie was awarded a penalty shot, but missed the net. The Herd still trailed by a goal and needed to pull Berdin for an extra attacker in the final 90 seconds. Newly acquired forward Will Garin got all 9, 744 fans to their feet with 1:13 remaining in regulation. Garin took the puck in the slot and got a shot off that was first stopped by Primeau, but the rebound bounced back to Garin who was able to backhand a shot and lift it over his shoulder and into the net to tie the game 4-4 and force overtime.
The overtime didn’t last long, but it sure was exciting. Lincoln’s Christian Evers grabbed the puck in the slot and got two shots off that were stopped by Berdin with the second rebound bouncing to MacAdams who took the puck down the left wing boards on a 2-on-1 with Jack St. Ivany. MacAdams skated just inside the right circle and put the puck past Primeau to give the Herd a 5-4 victory.
Sioux Falls outshot Lincoln 14-7 in the third and 36-30 on the night. The Herd finished 1-for-5 on the power play while Lincoln was 0-for-4.
The Stampede return to action on Thursday when they host the Fargo Force at 7:05 PM inside the PREMIER Center. The first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive a free Stampede cowbell, courtesy of AARP of South Dakota. Doors open at 6 PM and tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.