SIOUX FALLS, SD -- Valentine’s Day was a heartbreaker for the Sioux Falls Stampede as they rallied back twice only to come up short in a white-knuckle shootout loss 3-2 to the Des Moines Buccaneers Friday night in front of 4,389 fans at the Arena.

Ryan Schwalbe and Nolan Gluchowski each lit the lamp for Sioux Falls, while netminder David Jacobson pushed away 26 of 29 Buc shots. The shootout loss drops the Herd (24-15-5) just a point behind the Sioux City Musketeers for third place in the Western Conference though the Herd are still 3-1-1 in their last five games.

“I thought we had some very average performances early and average in this league gets you behind the eight ball,” said Eades.  “We found a way to get a point, even though it’s a disappointing point, after being behind after two periods.”

Des Moines ended up on top 2-1 after a back-and-forth first period that saw the Herd open with several quality shots on Des Moines netmeinder Ryan Ruck.  Buc winger Danny Elser started the scoring during a power play at the 4:42 mark when he blasted down the right wing and threw a shot past Jacobson’s glove side, making it 1-0 Des Moines early in the game.  The Herd replied just a little over ten minutes later at 15:15 thanks to winger Ryan Schwalbe, who punched a rebound past Ruck from the left side and tied the score at 1-1. Not to be undeterred, Des Moines would recapture the lead exactly 70 seconds after the Herd score on a shot by Oskar Norlov that went just under the crossbar and into the back of the net.

The Bucs lead held through the second period, despite more prime opportunities for the Herd offense.  Neither team went on the power play in the second, with Des Moines outshooting the Stampede 10-7.

A monumentally huge goal by Herd d-man Nolan Gluchowski tied the game yet again 4:28 into the final period.  The former Tri-City Storm player rocketed a shot in from just outside the right circle with an extra attacker on the ice for Sioux Falls coming from a delayed penalty call on Des Moines.  Sioux Falls received a prime chance to take the win with 36.2 seconds left in the game as they were award a 5-on-3 two-minute power play after simultaneous tripping and too many men on the ice penalties. However, the Herd couldn’t capitalize in regulation or overtime and went into a shootout, tied 2-2.

“You have a full two minutes and your playmakers have to make a play,” said Eades.  “We didn’t tonight.”

Matters headed to shootout after neither team touched the twine in the extra period, an area where the Herd came into the night 0-2. Much like regulation, the Herd came back multiple times thanks to scores by Keith Burchett and C.J. Franklin but it would not be enough.  The night came to a close when Jake Jackson sealed the shootout win for the Bucs with a nasty last minute move in front of Jacobson, allowing Des Moines to escape with the 3-2 victory.

The Stampede will look to get back into the win column Saturday night when they host Green Bay in the first of two games against the Gamblers this weekend.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede

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