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Lincoln Pushes Stampede To The Brink



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Lincoln, NE—The Lincoln Stars went 3-for-8 on the power play and surged past the Sioux Falls Stampede, 4-1 Friday night at the Ice Box. The Stars lead the best-of-five series 2 games to 1, meaning the Stampede must win Saturday night to keep their record setting season alive.

 

Sioux Falls finished the night with 51 penalty minutes on 12 penalties while Lincoln had just eight minutes on four penalties.

 

Zeb Knutson scored the lone goal for the Herd who finished 0-for-2 on the power play. Charlie Lindgren turned aside 35 shots in goal for Sioux Falls who have only lost three straight games one time this season.

The Stampede were hoping to come out with the same energy and fire they did on Wednesday, but it was the Stars who came out flying, rattling off 19 shots in the first period. Vinni Lettieri would give the Stars the first goal of the game when he scored off a rebound at 8:23 to make it a 1-0 game.

 

The game would be delayed halfway through period when Peter Hand’s clearing attempt, shattered the glass causing a slight delay. Both teams came back and exchanged a scoring chance, but the Stars took a 1-0 lead into the locker room, outshooting the Herd 19-7.

 

The Herd came out with a lot of energy in the second and got on the board 2:34 in when Zeb Knutson took a pass off a face-off win from Dennis Kravchenko and wristed the puck past the right pad of Lincoln netminder Michael Bitzer to tie the game, 1-1.

 

The game didn’t stay tied for long however, as the Stars regained the lead 2:02 later on a goal from Zachary Ashton-Reese. Mike McKee dumped the puck into the Stampede and zone and it bounced off the back wall and bounced to Ashton-Reese who hammered the puck past the stick side of Charlie Lindgren to make it a 2-1 game.

 

Despite the goal, the Stampede continued to apply heavy pressure on the Stars, but couldn’t get the equalizer as the Stars took the one goal lead into the locker room. Sioux Falls outshot the Stars 13-6 in the period.

 

In the third, the Stars tallied their second powerplay goal of the night at 7:25 on a goal from Zachary Aston-Reese to give Lincoln a 3-1 advantage. Any chance of a comeback was taken away when the Stampede were flagged for multiple penalties down the stretch. At 14:29, Peter Hand received a penalty for head contact as well as a major for head butting, giving the Stars a power play for the rest of the game.

 

Seconds later, Dennis Kravchenko was given a 10 minute unsportsmanlike misconduct which was followed by a tripping call on Sam Rothstein. It all led to another powerplay goal for Lincoln as Eric Schied’s wrister from the slot squeaked through the pads of Lindgren at 15:45 to give the Stars a 4-1 lead.

 

Lincoln outshot the Stampede 39-33 on the night and won at home against the Stampede for the first time since opening night in September.

 

Game 4 of the series takes place Saturday at the Ice Box. Game time is 7:05 PM.

-Courtesy Sioux Falls Stampede
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