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Stampede’s Road Winning Streak Ends In Fargo

Sioux Falls Stampede vs Fargo Force
Sioux Falls Stampede

FARGO, ND — The Sioux Falls Stampede watched a 4-1 lead in the second period slip away as the Fargo Force scored six unanswered goals en route to a 7-4 victory over the Herd Friday night in Fargo.

Trailing 4-1 with six minutes remaining in the period, the Force score three times to tie the game and then added three more goals in the third to earn the victory that pulls the Force within five points of the Stampede for first place in the West with three games remaining.

The Stampede (42-17-2) saw their eight-game road winning streak come to an end and dropped their third straight game, their longest losing streak of the season. Zeb Knutson scored twice while Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 of 38 shots while David Jacobson stopped all five shots he saw in relief. The loss allowed Dubuque to secure the Anderson Cup and means the Herd have to wait another day to clinch the Western Conference regular season title.

The Stampede found themselves down early in the games in their losses last Friday and Saturday so they made sure that wouldn’t be the case in Fargo, scoring 9:48 when Knutson tallied his 22nd goal of the season. Dennis Kravchenko made the play happen by weaving his way through the Fargo defense and sliding the puck right in the crease to Knudson who tapped the puck into the back of the net. Sioux Falls took their first lead of the night with just 47 seconds remaining when Matt Van Voorhis scored on the powerplay. Van Voorhis picked up a rebound inside the left circle and he blasted the puck into the upper left hand corner of the net to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 edge at the end of one period. Sioux Falls outshot the Force 14-12 in the period.

Sioux Falls kept up the momentum early in the second period when Knudson and Tony Calderone scored in the first 1:20 of the period to increase the Herd’s lead to 4-1. It looked as though the Stampede would be in control for the remainder of the game, but Chris Dienes goal at 14:35 sparked the Force. Lindgren stopped the initial shot, but Dienes slapped in the open rebound inside the right circle. Dave Gust scored just under two minutes later only to be followed by a goal from Dominic Toninato just 27 seconds later. Neal Goff wristed a shot from the left circle that was stopped by Lindgren, but the rebound bounced off his shoulder and into the crease where Toninato tipped it in to tie the game 4-4. Fargo outshot the Herd 15-6 in the period.

Things didn’t get any better for the Herd in the third period as the Force took their first lead of the night just 2:19 into the period when Toninato got left open along in front of the net and one timed a pass from Alex Iaffallo to give the Force a 5-4 edge. Sioux Falls began to get frustrated and Fargo took advantage. Five minutes later Iafallo set up another goal, this time shorthanded, as he fed Brendan Harms who skated through the slot and backhanded the puck past Lindgren. Austin Ortega sealed the game for good for the Force when he scored on the powerplay at 12:47.

Fargo outshot the Stampede 42-35 on the night and went 1-for-7 on the powerplay while the Herd were 1-for-5.

Sioux Falls will once again have a chance to clinch first place in the West on Saturday when they host Dubuque at 7:05 PM.

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Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede

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