Stampede Slump Continues In Sioux City
Herd Fall To Muskies 4-1
The Stampede’s offensive woes continued Saturday night in Sioux City as the Herd fell to the Musketeers 4-1 at the Tyson Events Center. The Herd scored just two goals in three games and four goals over their last four games as they fell to 16-12-2 on the season, but remain in second place in the Western Conference. Matt Riggleman tallied the only goal for the Herd in the third period while Stefanos Lekkas stopped 20 shots in goal for the Herd who went 0-2-1 in three games this week, but are still 5-3-2 over their last 10 games.
One of the keys to the game for the Herd was to stay out of the box and they were reminded of that just 5:53 into the game when Eeli Tolvanen scored. Tolvanen took a pass from the right point and blasted it into the upper right hand corner of the net, past the glove side of Lekkas to give the Musketeers a 1-0 lead. Sioux Falls would try to battle back through the period, but struggled to find much offense, only tallying five shots on goal. Right as it appeared they would trail 1-0 heading into the locker room, the other Finnish star on the Musketeers roster struck. Teemu Pulkkinen snuck past the Stampede defense down the left wing wall and cut towards the Herd net where he was able to perfectly place the puck over the right shoulder of Lekkas with just 16 seconds left to give the Musketeers a 2-0 lead after one period. Sioux City outshot the Herd 9-5 in the period.
The Stampede provided some more offensive effort in the second period, but still trailed 1-0 heading into the final seven minutes of the period. Sioux City didn’t make things any easier as they scored at 14:08 when CJ Dodero snuck in front of the Stampede net and quickly one-timed a pass past the right pad of Lekkas to extend the Musketeers lead to 3-0. They would take that lead into the third period. Sioux Falls outshot the Musketeers 12-11 in the period.
Any thoughts of another third period comeback for the Stampede were put to rest just 7:19 into the third when Josh Wilkins sent a pass into the right circle for Tolvanen who blasted in his second of the night and fourth this season against the Stampede to give the Musketeers a 4-0 advantage. Sioux Falls would finally break through at 13:54 of the period when Joe Rutkowski and Jack Becker helped set up Matt Riggleman who wristed a shot in the slot past Musketeers goaltender Cameron Gornet for his fourth of the season. That would be the only goal the Herd would muster despite outshooting the Musketeers 12-4 in the third period and 29-24 in the game.
The Herd finished the night 0-for-3 on the power play while the Musketeers finished the night 1-for-4 with the advantage.
Sioux Falls returns home this Friday, January 8th to host the U.S. Under-18 Development Program (NTDP) at 7:05 PM. It is also Social Media Night, presented by Be Well South Dakota. The first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive a Stampede hockey stick foam hat, compliments of Be Well South Dakota. Fans who follow the Herd on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@sfstampede) will have a chance to win prizes leading up to and during the game as well.