Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede’s dominance of the Fargo Force continued on Tuesday night at the PREMIER Center. Four-second period goals propelled the Herd to a 4-3 victory over the Force, improving their season record against Fargo to 7-1-0.
The Stampede improved to 21-11-7 on the year and pulled into a tie for second place in the Western Conference with Omaha. Reid Stefanson scored twice while Mitchell Mattson and Jack St. Ivany recorded goals in the victory. Mikhail Berdin stopped 29 of 32 shots in goal for Sioux Falls who are now 5-0-1 in their last six games and 7-2-1 in their last ten games.
After a scoreless first period, things heated up in the second. Reid Stefanson got the Herd on the board just 24 seconds into the period when he deflected a shot from Adam Dawe into the net. The celebration was short-lived, however as the Force responded just 18 seconds later on a goal from Grant Hebert. It remained tied at one until the 11:41 mark when Mitchell Mattson scored shorthanded. Mattson stole the puck at the Stampede blueline and broke in on a breakaway where he wristed as shot through the five-hole of Fargo goaltender Strauss Mann.
It marked the third shorthanded goal this season for the Herd.
Later in the period, Sioux Falls went on the power play and Jack St. Ivany cashed in. Khristian Acosta patiently held the puck just behind the goal line to the right of Fargo’s cage and sent a pass right through the crease to St. Ivany who snuck in on the backdoor and one-timed the puck into the back of the net to give Sioux Falls a 3-1 advantage. The Herd weren’t not done yet though as they added a fourth goal in the period at 18:17 when Reid Stefanson posted his second of the night. Jaxon Nelson sent a pass to the top of the left circle for Stefanson who blasted a shot just under the crossbar to give Sioux Falls a 4-1 advantage heading into the locker room. Fargo outshot the Herd 13-12 in the period.
It remained a 4-1 game until the final five minutes of the game when Fargo scored two goals just 57 seconds apart to pull within one, both coming on the power play. Ty Farmer found Spencer Meier open in front of the goal at 15:02 to make it a 4-2 game. Just seconds later, Mikhail Berdin was flagged for a high stick and back on the power play went the Force. They wasted little time as A.J. Drobot backhanded a shot into the net to make it a 4-3 game with four minutes remaining in regulation. Fargo would pull their goaltender late, but the Stampede held off the Force attack to earn their seventh win of the season over Fargo.
Fargo outshot the Herd 32-26 on the night and went 2-for-5 on the power play while the Herd were 1-for-3.
The Stampede continue their five-game homestand on Friday night when they host the Lincoln Stars at the PREMIER Center. They will close it out with a game on Saturday versus Omaha, which will also cap off a full day of Hockey Day in South Dakota. Puck drop is 7:05 PM each night and tickets are available through the PREMIER Center. For more information, visit sfstampede.com.