Stampede Rally Past Fargo To Snap Skid

Sioux Falls Wins 3-2

The comeback kids were back Saturday night before a boisterous crowd of 7,369 at the PREMIER Center. Down 2-0 heading into the third period, the Herd rallied to score three times en route to a 3-2 victory over the Fargo Force. The win ended a five-game winless streak and improved the Herd’s record to 17-14-2 on the season, keeping the Stampede in third place in the West, just three points behind first place Lincoln and eight points ahead of eighth place Fargo. Lean Bergmann, Jack Doremus and Parker Tuomie all scored in the third period while Stefanos Lekkas earned his 11th win of the season in goal with another stellar performance and 29 saves.

The Stampede were hoping to get out of a goal scoring slump and get things rolling in the first period, but it was the Force who gained the early edge. Denis Smirnov found Blake Lizotte down the left wing boards who quickly skated towards the goal and sent a perfect pass into the right circle for Grant Meyer who one-timed the puck past the glove side of Stefanos Lekkas to give the Force a 1-0 edge. Sioux Falls worked hard to get something going, but Fargo goaltender Ryan Wischow showed why he is one of the best goaltenders in the league stopping all seven shots faced in the period. Fargo took that 1-0 lead into the intermission, outshooting the Herd 12-7.

The Stampede came out with more energy in the second period and generated some scoring opportunities on the power play, but continued to struggle to find a way to score and were kept off the board. The Force added to their lead at 13:13 when Denis Smirnov scored on the power play to take a 2-0 lead. Charlie Gerard found Smirnov open at the left point and Smirnov blasted a shot off the right goal post and into the upper right hand corner of the net for a two goal advantage after two periods. Sioux Falls outshot the Force 10-8 in the period.

The Herd were desperate to get something going in the third and they would do just that, making for a memorable third period. The Herd scored their first goal of the game at 2:46 when Eric MacAdams had his shot stopped, but the rebound bounced to the left of the crease and onto the tap of the Lean Bergmann who quickly picked up the puck and wristed it into the back of the net to give the PREMIER Center crowd something to cheer about. Just under four minutes later the Herd tied the game when MacAdams took the puck in the right circle and sent a pass across ice to Jack Doremus who kicked the puck to his skate and then wristed a shot right through the five-hole of Fargo goaltender Ryan Wischow to make it a 2-2 game. Minutes later the Herd found themselves on their fourth power play of the night and Parker Tuomie took advantage at 8:45. Bergmann picked up the puck just to the right of the goal and sent a pass to Tuomie in the right circle who kicked it onto his stick and tucked it just under the crossbar, past Wischow to send all 7,369 fans into a frenzy at the PREMIER Center.

With 1:30 left in the game Fargo would pull their goaltender to add some pressure, but Lekkas was solid again between the pipes and the Stampede defense held off the Force attack and nearly ended it early with a couple shots on the empty net that narrowly missed. When the final horn sounded the Herd had themselves a 3-2 victory and put an end to their five-game winless streak.

Sioux Falls outshot the Force 13-12 in the final period, but Fargo outshot the Herd on the night 31-30. The Force went 1-for-2 on the power play while the Stampede finished 1-for-4.

The Herd begin a five-game road trip Saturday night when they travel to Omaha to face the Lancers at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch all the action live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at KELO.COM starting at 6:40 PM.

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