Stampede Stumble In Sloppy 3rd Against Cedar Rapids
Five Unanswered Goals Lead To 7-3 Defeat
For the first 43 minutes of the game the Sioux Falls Stampede slowed down the top offensive team in the league. The final 17 minutes belonged to Cedar Rapids though as the RoughRiders exploded for five goals to roll over the Herd 7-3 before 6,432 fans at the PREMIER Center Friday night. Leading 3-2 early in the third, Cedar Rapids scored five unanswered goals to improve to 13-6-1 while the Herd fell to 12-10-1 on the season. Alex Stevens, Daniel Warpecha and Josh Passolt all scored for the Herd while Ales Stezka started the game and stopped 19 of 24 shots while Stefanos Lekkas turned aside 7 of 9 shots in relief. The loss snapped the Herd’s four-game home winning streak and prevented them from gaining ground on second place Omaha who also fell Friday.
The Stampede started out slow Thursday night against the Force, but were anything but slow to start the game Friday. The Herd came out of the gates flying and tallied a goal just 1:25 in thanks to Alex Stevens who tallied his second of the year. Collin Peters weaved his way through defense and drew a penalty, but was able to send a pass to the right point for Stevens who then wristed a shot through traffic and beat Cedar Rapids goaltender Ben Blacker to give the Herd a 1-0 lead. Sioux Falls played well throughout the period and held their 1-0 lead after 20 minutes with both teams tallying eight shots each in the period.
The Riders would not be denied in the second however as they cashed in a power play opportunity less than five minutes into the period when Ross Colton broke through the Stampede defense in the right circle and tucked a shot just under the crossbar to tie the game 1-1. It was the first goal allowed by Ales Stezka in over five periods. Sioux Falls tried to rally, but Blacker and the Riders defense kept Sioux Falls in check and kept the game tied throughout much of the period. Cedar Rapids would grab their first lead of the night at 15:03 when John Snodgrass sent a pass in the slot to Hugh McGing who quickly slapped the puck past Stezka and gave the RoughRiders a 2-1 lead after two periods. Cedar Rapids outshot the Herd 11-10 in the period.
Things started well for the Herd in the third as they scored just 39 seconds in on Daniel Warpecha’s fifth of the season to tie the game. Minutes later the Herd found themselves on the penalty kill, but Lawton Courtnall chipped the puck off the glass and ahead to Josh Passolt who broke free and was initially stopped by Blacker, but got his own rebound and backhanded it into the back of the net to give the Herd a 3-2 lead, bringing all 6,432 fans to their feet. The celebration would be short lived for the Herd though as the Riders responded just 32 seconds later to tie the game on a blast off the stick of Mitch Reinke. From there it was all Cedar Rapids as they would go on to score another goal just 34 seconds later and added two more in a span of just five minutes. Ales Stezka was relieved by Stefanos Lekkas with 12:06 to go, but he saw two RoughRider shots go by him and at the end the Riders rolled past the Herd 7-3.
Cedar Rapids outshot the Herd 33-30 and finished the night 2-for-3 on the power play while the Herd were 0-for-1.
Sioux Falls will look to bounce back Saturday night when they host the Chicago Steel at 7:05 PM. It is The Man Salon Teddy Bear Toss Night. Fans are encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to the game and toss it onto the ice after the first goal. Be sure to write your section, row and seat number on the tag for a chance to win some great prizes. All animals collected will be donated to local area children’s hospitals. Tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet.