Fargo Bowled Over By Bellows Hat Trick!

Stampede Get Crucial 3-2 Win

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A lower bowl sellout crowd of 6,764 fans at the PREMIER Center witnessed Kieffer Bellows tally a hat trick in the second period to power the Stampede to a 3-2 victory over the Fargo Force Saturday night.

The win moved the Herd into sole possession of fourth place in the West and improved their overall record to 20-15-5 on the year. Sioux Falls is now 9-1-1 in their last 11 home games and are 14-6-3 on home ice this season. Logan O’Connor added three assists while Stefanos Lekkas earned his 15th win of the season in goal with 26 saves.

After a scoreless first period, things heated up in the second. The Herd nabbed the first goal of the game at 9:11 when Kieffer Bellows struck on the power play. Cooper Marody found Bellows in the slot and Bellows wristed a shot that was blocked, but picked up his own rebound and wristed a shot into the back of the net to make it a 1-0 game. Just over three minutes later Bellows line was at it again.

O’Connor wristed a shot towards the net from the high slot and Bellows was able to bat down the puck to his stick and first it past the stick side of Israelsson to make it a 2-0 game.

The Force would respond however at 14:40 when Austin Pooley found the back of the net. Sean Mostrom fired a shot that was deflected by Steff Lekkas and went off the left goalpost, but the puck bounced to Pooley who scored from an odd angle to make it a 2-1 game.

Four minutes later Bellows completed the hat trick at 18:42 when O’Connor dropped a pass to the top of the left circle where Bellows blasted a shot into the upper right hand corner of the net for his 24th goal of the season and put the Herd up 3-1, sending all 6,764 fans to their feet. It marked the second straight Saturday that the 16-year-old tallied a hat trick, last Saturday he posted three goals at Tri-City. Sioux Falls outshot Fargo 22-18 through two periods.

The third period went back-and-forth with both teams delivering some big hits, but the Herd held onto their two-goal lead late and forced Fargo to pull Israelsson with two minutes left, but the Herd couldn’t get the bounce to secure the game. The

Force made it a little interesting scoring with just four seconds remaining in regulation on a goal from Pooley, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Herd won the ensuing faceoff and earned the 3-2 victory.

Fargo outshot the Herd 10-8 in the third period, but Sioux Falls outshot the Force 30-28 and finished 1-for-2 on the power play while going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Sioux Falls will be off until next Sunday, February 15th when they travel to Des Moines for an important Western Conference battle against the Bucs. Game time is 5:05 PM and fans can catch all the action on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at kelo.com starting at 4:40 PM. The Herd return home on Saturday, February 21st at 7:05 PM for the 8th annual Sioux Nation Pet Clinic Wiener Dog Races. Registration and ticket information can be found at sfstampede.com.

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