Stampede Perfect On Ugly Sweater Night Against Muskegon
Herd Win 3-0
Stampede goaltender Steffanos Lekkas picked up right where he left off a year ago against Muskegon. The Clark Cup champion goaltender stopped all 39 shots faced to earn his first shutout of the season while Parker Tuomie, Jack Suter and Eric MacAdams all scored in the Stampede’s 3-0 victory over the Lumberjacks before 6,112 at the PREMIER Center Friday night. The Herd improved to 14-10-1 on the year and into second place in the Western Conference while improving to 11-4-0 on home ice this season. The Lumberjacks (10-9-1) lost for just the second time in regulation this season on the road, falling to 6-2-1. The Herd will go for a weekend sweep Saturday night at the PREMIER Center.
In their first meeting since Game 3 of the Clark Cup Final last year, it felt much like a playoff game with both teams ready to play. The Herd would earn the first goal of the game when captain Parker Tuomie struck on the power play 7:19 into the first period. Joe Rutkowski had the puck at the left point and sent a pass to Jack Suter inside the left circle who found Tuomie at the top of the right circle and Tuomie blasted a shot into the upper right corner of the net to give the Herd a 1-0 advantage. The goal was Tuomie’s league leading 17th goal of the season and sparked the Herd early in the contest. Muskegon continued to battle in the period, but neither team would score and the Herd took a 1-0 lead into the locker room, outshooting the Lumberjacks 13-12.
The Herd added to their lead just 1:10 into the second when Jack Suter tallied his fifth of the season. Lawton Courtnall took the puck behind the Muskegon net and backhanded it to Josh Passolt in the left circle who saw Suter charging toward then net and sent it in front of the goal where Suter flipped it under the pads of Muskegon goaltender Joey Daccord to make it a 2-0 game. From there the momentum switched to the Lumberjacks who went on a couple of power plays but Lekkas was outstanding between the pipes and stopped all 14 shots faced while the Herd mustered just five shots the entire period.
In the third, Sioux Falls looked to add to their lead and remain perfect on the season when leading after two and they did just that, scoring 6:16 into the period when Eric MacAdams notched his fifth of the year. A.J. Vanderbeck intercepted a pass at the Muskegon blue line and raced in towards the goal, sending a perfect pass to the left circle for MacAdams who wasted no time and one-timed the puck past Daccord to give the Herd a 3-0 cushion. With just under 9 minutes remaining regulation the Lumberjacks went back on the power play and pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker, but Lekkas put on a goaltending clinic, kicking away shot after shot and the Stampede defense was there to clear out the puck and keep Muskegon off the board as the Herd earned the 3-0 win.
Muskegon outshot the Herd 13-5 in the third period and 39-23 in the game, but went 0-for-6 on the power play while the Herd were 1-for-3.
These two teams will face each other again on Saturday night at 7:05 PM for Military Appreciation Night, presented by South Dakota Army National Guard. The Stampede will be paying tribute to the men and women of our armed forces in a special pre-game ceremony and throughout the game. Military members can get up to 4 free tickets by simply showing their military ID at the Guest Services table before the game (while tickets remain). Tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.