Stampede Move Into 1st With Win At Fargo

Herd Topple Force 2-1

Santa Claus made an appearance on Friday night and he was wearing number 33 and playing goal for the Stampede. Stefanos Lekkas put together another outstanding performance, stopping 33 of 34 shots while Jack Suter and Matt RIggleman scored goals for the Herd who topped Fargo 2-1. The Herd won despite being outshot 34-12 and moved into first place in the Western Conference with a 16-10-1 record. The Stampede head into the winter break having won four straight games and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

After a scoreless first period in which Fargo is outshot the Herd 7-4, the Force wasted little time getting on the board in the second period, scoring just 1:31 into the second period. Cole Gallant wristed a shot in the slot that was deflected off a couple of players and bounced to Zach Yon who quickly wristed the puck past the stick side of Stampede goaltender Stefanos Lekkas for a 1-0 lead.

Fargo continued to control much of the period, but the Stampede would turn things around in the final five minutes of the period. Jack Suter tied the game at 15:08 when he tallied his sixth goal of the season. Lawton Courtnall sent a pass up the left wing wall to Suter who skated into the left circle before stopping quickly and wristing the shot perfectly into the upper right hand corner of the net to make it a 1-1 game. Just over two minutes later the Herd took the lead when Alex Stevens crashed the net on the right wing side getting a shot on goal that was stopped by Ryan Wischow, but the rebound bounced to the top of the crease where Matt Riggleman dove in and knocked home the loose puck to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. Fargo outshot the Herd 11-6 in the period.

It was all Fargo in period three as the Force outshot the Stampede 16-2, but Stefanos Lekkas showed why is the defending Clark Cup champion goaltender, making save after save and keeping the Force off the board. Fargo pulled their goaltender in the final minute, but the Stampede defense never even allowed a good scoring chance for the Force and the Stampede held on for a 2-1 victory.

Sioux Falls went 0-for-2 on the power play while not taking one penalty in the game for the first time this season.

The Herd are now off for the holiday break until December 29th when they host the Bloomington Thunder at 7:05 PM. It is a Furniture Mart Family Night where fans can get 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas and 1 large popcorn all for just $49! Don’t miss the Stampede holiday sale on Saturday from 9AM to 2PM at the PREMIER Center. Save big on the latest Stampede gear just in time for the holidays.

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