Sioux Falls, SD--The Sioux Falls Stampede took no time recovering from a disheartening Friday night shootout loss as they controlled the Green Bay Gamblers in a 3-0 shutout in front of a sellout 4,772 crowd at the Arena Saturday evening. Netminder Art Brey stopped all 31 shots he faced while three different players tallied goals for the Herd (25-15-5) who remain one point behind Sioux City for third place in the West.
“We played big defensively,” said Brey. “I left a couple of big rebounds but my boys were there. Some big, big plays by my defense”
Neither team scored in a first period filled with juicy scoring chances for the Herd offense. Green Bay netminder Cam Hackett stonewalled everything the Sioux Falls threw at him, despite two power play opportunities for the Stampede in the period. On the other side Brey was able to stop everything the Gamblers came at him with, pushing aside all nine shots he faced.
“Whenever you get a shutout your goaltender has to play well and you have to have real good overall team defense,” said head coach Cary Eades.
A beauty of a play by the Stampede during their fourth power play at 8:53 of the second opened the night’s scoring when Keith Burchett found Dakota Joshua with a backhand pass from the left side, allowing the future Ohio State Buckeye to nail the puck into the net from in between the circles. The goal occurred shortly after a 5-on-3 for the Herd had expired and turned into a normal man advantage.
“It looked like they (Green Bay) were going to escape,” said Eades. “Had they gotten out of that situation it would have inspired them. Instead we scored, we gained the confidence and we were able to roll from there.”
The Stampede doubled their lead a little over seven minutes later at 16:12 when C.J. Franklin went top shelf from the right circle shortly after his club’s fifth power play had expired, his 14th goal of the year.
Herd winger Tony Calderone gave the Herd the vital three-goal lead they needed six minutes into the final period when he clocked in a shot in between the circles on another opportunistic pass from Burchett, putting a 3-0 Stampede score on the board. Brey and the Herd held on the rest of the way with little trouble for the victory and their fourth win in the month of February.
“Last night was tough, but we did a great job bouncing back,” said Brey.
The Stampede will close out the weekend with their second game against Green Bay on Sunday at 6:05 PM. Family 4-Packs are still available through the Stampede office starting at 12 PM Sunday. For just $32, fans receive 4 game tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas and 1 large popcorn. The Stampede office is located at the Birdcage or call 336-6060.
Be amongst the first 500 fans through the doors and receive a FREE Stampede ice scraper, compliments of Brown & Saenger and be sure to bring your skates to the game and take part in the McDonald’s Post-Game Skating Party right after the game. Doors open at 5:15 PM.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede