Stampede Move Closer To Playoffs With Win Over Bloomington
Herd Magic Number Down To Two Points
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Sioux Falls Stampede goaltender Art Brey continue his strong play between the pipes, stopping 27 of 28 shots and helped power the Stampede to a 3-1 victory over Bloomington in front of a large crowd of 9,715 fans Friday night at the PREMIER Center.
The win moved the Herd within two points of clinching a spot in the 2015 Clark Cup Playoffs. Should Des Moines lose in regulation Saturday night in Muskegon, the Stampede will punch their ticket to postseason play.
Cooper Marody, Mikey Eyssimont and Logan O’Connor all scored for the Herd who have won eight straight games on home ice and are 30-20-5 overall on the season. Since December 27th, the Herd have gone 12-1-1 at the PREMIER Center and are 17-6-3 at home this season. The Stampede will play four of their last five games of the regular season on home ice.
The Stampede picked up right where they left off from the night before, scoring just 1:32 on Cooper Marody’s 21st goal of the season. Marody took a pass from Logan O’Connor and skated into the left wing circle and wristed a shot past the stick side of Bloomington netminder Hayden Lavigne to give Sioux Falls the early 1-0 lead.
Sioux Falls dominated the next three shifts and nearly added to their lead, but Lavigne stopped the Herd and that sparked the Thunder to posting 10 shots of their own, but Art Brey continued his strong play and the Stampede took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
Bloomington came out in the second period and put the pressure on the Herd, but Brey continued to play strong and kept the Thunder off the board. Midway through the period the Stampede took control and cashed in when Mikey Eyssimont scored for the third straight game. Chaz Switzer blasted a shot from the left point and
Eyssimont stood in front of the net where he deflected the puck past Lavigne to give Sioux Falls a 2-0 advantage. Sioux Falls had a few more opportunities as the period went on, but the score remained 2-0 heading into the third with both teams registering 18 shots each on goal.
The Thunder made things interesting just 3:22 into the third period when Shane Bednard found Blake Gober in the slot and Gober backhanded a shot past the left pad of Art Brey to cut the lead to 2-1. It ended a streak of just over five periods of shutout hockey on the weekend for Brey and made the 9, 751 fans in attendance a little tense.
The Herd would calm those nerves however with a strong third period and Brey continued his strong play between the pipes to stop the remaining nine Bloomington shots in the period. The Herd sealed the game with 45 seconds remaining with Brey sent a puck to center ice for Logan O’Connor who shot from the red line into the back of the net to secure the 3-1 victory.
Bloomington outshot the Herd 28-27 on the night and went 0-for-5 on the power play while the Stampede went 0-for-1.
The Herd return to action on Wednesday when they host the Des Moines Buccaneers at 7:05 PM. It’s a special April fool’s game and Mascot night. The Herd will continue their homestand on Friday and Saturday night as well.