rbandale, IA—The Sioux Falls Stampede inched closer to a playoff berth with a convincing 5-2 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers Friday night at Buccaneer Arena. The win moved the Herd within one point of clinching a spot in the 2014 Clark Cup Playoffs. Griffen Molino, Christian Horn and Garrett Cecere all tallied a goal and an assist while Art Brey earned his 13th win of the season in goal with 37 saves. The win improved the Herd’s record to 29-15-6 and moved them within three points of third place Sioux City.
It may not have been a playoff game, but the first period sure had a playoff feel to it as 15 combined penalties were assessed. An altercation after the whistle 11 minutes into the period sent C.J. Franklin to the showers early, but gave the Stampede a 5-on-3 advantage and the Herd cashed in. Christian Horn blasted a shot from the left point that traveled through the Buccaneer defense and into the back of the net at 12:42. That was the only goal of the period as the Herd took a 1-0 lead into the locker room. Des Moines outshot the Herd 14-12 in the period.
In the second, tempers settled down and the Herd kept the offense going. Eight minutes into the period the Herd added to their lead when Ed McGovern sent a pass through the neutral zone and onto the tape of Griffen Molino who skated in on a breakaway and backhanded a shot just underneath the crossbar to give Sioux Falls a 2-0 advantage. Just five minutes later it was McGovern making the play happen again, this time he sent a pass to Joshua who weaved his way through the Bucs defense and wristed a shot from the left circle past the glove side of Des Moines goaltender Ryan Ruck to give the Herd a 3-0 cushion. Sioux Falls outshot Des Moines 14-13 in the period.
The Bucs broke Brey’s shutout bid at 13:48 of the third period when Willem Nong-Lambert broke free into the Stampede zone and raced down the left wing boards before wristing a shot past Brey to make it a 3-1 game. The Herd responded the next shift when Griffen Molino raced down the left wing boards and sent a pass cross ice onto the tape of Knutson who was coming down the right wing side and one-timed it into the back of the net to regain the three goal advantage. Minutes later the Herd was awarded another 5-on-3 advantage and once again took advantage. Dennis Kravchenko and Christian Horn sent a pass into the high slot to Garrett Cecere who blasted the puck into the back of the net to give Sioux Falls a 5-1 lead. Marcel Godbout scored with just 19 seconds remaining, but it wouldn’t matter as the Herd rolled to a 5-2 victory.
Sioux Falls outshot Des Moines 38-37 on the night and finished 2-for-7 on the power play while going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Herd return to action Saturday when they travel to Dubuque to face the Fighting Saints at 7:05 PM. Fans can listen live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 107.9-FM and online at kelo.com starting at 6:40 PM with the pre-game show.