SIOUX FALLS, SD -- The Sioux Falls Stampede era at the Arena officially ended Thursday night as the Waterloo Black Hawks overwhelmed the Herd in a 7-2, Game 3 victory.

The loss before 3,551 fans completed the three-game sweep, eliminating Sioux Falls from the Clark Cup Playoffs.

Zeb Knutson and C.J. Franklin provided the offense for the Herd, who will move to the brand new Denny Sanford Premier Center this fall for the 2014-15 season. Waterloo used four power play scores on the night to seal the win and finished the best-of-five series with a 20-9 goal advantage over the Herd, who simply could not keep up with the red-hot Black Hawk offense.

“They’re a great team,” said Knutson, who spent two years with Stampede before heading to Minnesota State-Mankato this fall.  “I won’t be surprised if they contend for the Clark Cup.  They just had everything going and they’re on a hot streak right now.”

Four straight goals by the Black Hawks opened the first period and dumped the Herd into a 4-0 hole with 4:15 to go before intermission. Hayden Shaw kicked off the scoring for Waterloo only 1:49 with a sharp angle wrister from the right side, giving the lethal Black Hawk offense a head start over a Herd club that came into the night with its back against the wall.

The 1-0 lead resulting from the goal ballooned to a 4-0 lead thanks to three consecutive power play scores from the Black Hawks, starting with a tally from Tyler Sheehy at 4:24.

A Knutson score finally stopped the bleeding with 2:37 to go in the first as the forward cut through two defenders and sank the puck through the five-hole of Waterloo netminder Cal Petersen, cutting the Waterloo lead to 4-1 heading to intermission.

“They (Waterloo) were on a roll, and we weren’t able to stop that roll,” said head coach Cary Eades.  “It was a difficult night, but I was proud of the way the guys held their composure and battled through.”

Waterloo winger Blake Winiecki gave the Hawks a four goal advantage with a power play wrist shot from the right circle at 11:51 of the second period, topping off a streak of four Black Hawk man advantage scores in a row.  The power play contributed a significant impact to the score of the game after two periods, with the Black Hawks hitting pay dirt four times in eight attempts while the Herd went rewarded in three tries.

“It was not the recipe we wanted,” said Eades.   “We gave them far too many power plays and they made us pay.”

Franklin slashed the lead to 5-2 a mere 14 seconds into the final period on a one-timer from the left side after pass from Keith Burchett, giving the Herd a glimpse of hope for a Game 3 rally. However, Waterloo winger Tim Lappin shot down any hope of a comeback with a score off the crossbar at 4:56 of the final period.

A second score by Lappin with 1:52 left only added salt to the wound, as tally clinched the 7-2 Waterloo Game 3 win over the Herd.

The Stampede will now look to start a new era of success at the Events Center after spending 15 seasons at the Arena, which fielded both an Anderson Cup and a Clark Cup champion in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

“Every time you come here there’s a great atmosphere,” said Eades.  “The fans are into it and they’re right on top of you. It served its purpose, but quite honestly from a hockey perspective the new building is much more suited to watching the game and experiencing a much better hockey game.”


Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede

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