Stampede Erupt In 3rd Period To Beat Lincoln

Herd Beat First Place Stars 4-2

The Sioux Falls Stampede put an end to their five-game losing streak with yet another thrilling third period, come-from-behind victory at the PREMIER Center. Trailing 2-0 early in the third period, the Stampede rallied with goals from Joe Rutkowski, Matt Riggleman, Lawton Courtnall and Jack Becker to defeat the first place Lincoln Stars, 4-2 before 6,056 screaming fans. The win was the Herd’s first since their last home game on January 15th and improved their record to 18-19-2 on the season and into a fifth place tie with Des Moines, who they will face Saturday night. Stefanos Lekkas continued his strong play in goal, stopping 25 shots on the night.

After a scoreless first period in which the Herd outshot the Stars 11-7, Lincoln (23-18-1) grabbed the first goal of the game at 11:24 on the power play. Newly acquired players Trevor Hamilton and Tanner Laczynski combined to get a shot that was initially blocked, but Ludvig Hoff picked up the loose puck and wristed a shot past the glove side of Stampede goaltender Stefanos Lekkas to give the Stars a 1-0 edge. The Stampede rebounded and created several good scoring opportunities, but couldn’t find a way past Lincoln goaltender Patrick Virtanen and the game remained 1-0 after two periods. Lincoln outshot the Stampede 12-11 in the period.

Things didn’t start out well for the Herd as the Stars scored just 52 seconds into the period to take a 2-0 lead, but the Stampede would show why they are one of the best teams in the league on home ice. On the power play, Jack Suter found Joe Rutkowski inside the left circle and Rutkowski wristed a shot past the stick side of Lincoln goaltender Patrik Virtanen to make it a 2-1 game. Sioux Falls would tie game at 12:13 when Alex Stevens shot from the right point was deflected by Matt Riggleman right over the glove of Virtanen and into the back of the net.

Just as it looked like this game might be heading to overtime the Herd took their first lead of the night with just 2:01 remaining in regulation when Lawton Courtnall faked a shot from the left circle, took the puck behind the net and scored on a wraparound shot to bring all 6,056 fans into a frenzy as the Herd led 3-2. The Herd would end up on the power play in the final seconds and with Lincoln hoping to pull their goalie for an extra attacker, Jack Becker muscled his way in front of the Stars net and knocked home a loose puck to put a stamp on the victory at 4-2. Parker Tuomie and Nolan Nicholas recorded assists on the goal.
Sioux Falls outshot Lincoln 15-11 in the third period and 34-27 in the game while going 2-for-4 on the power play, the Stars were 1-for-4.

The Stampede return to action Saturday night when they host the Des Moines Buccaneers at 7:05 PM from Special Olympics South Dakota Night, presented by Modern Woodmen of America. Fans can take part in a silent auction of sports memorabilia with the proceeds benefiting Special Olympics South Dakota. Tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office inside the PREMIER Center or any Ticketmaster outlet. 

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