Cedar Rapids, IA—Jaxon Nelson scored twice in the third period to break a 2-2 tie to help guide the Sioux Falls Stampede to a 4-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Saturday night. The Stampede are now 6-1-3 in their last 10 games and improve to 10-5-5 on the season and back into third place in the Western Conference. Mikhail Berdin recorded his ninth win of the season in goal, turning aside 36 of 38 shots while Jack St. Ivany and Nolan Walker added goals in the victory for the Herd.
The first period was a battle of special teams with both teams getting a chance on the power play, but an even strength goal would be the only goal of the period. Jack St. Ivany got the Herd on the board just as a power play for the Herd had expired when he ripped a shot from the high slot that deflected off a RoughRiders skate and past Cedar Rapids goaltender Jiri Patera for a 1-0 lead. The Herd got into penalty trouble late in the period and ended up down two men for 1:40, but Mikhail Berdin and Paul DeNaples both made big plays to keep the puck out of the net and the Herd took a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Cedar Rapids outshot the Stampede 13-12 in the period.
The Stampede increased their lead just 2:16 into the period when Nolan Walker scored on the power play for his 10th of the season. Colin Swoyer sent a nice pass onto the tape of Walker who wristed a shot perfectly into the upper right hand corner of the net for a 2-0 lead. The goal extended Walker’s point scoring streak to eight games. The Herd held the two-goal lead until 11:24 mark when Nathan Smith blasted a shot into the upper right and corner of the net and past Berdin to cut the lead in half. The RoughRiders would tie the game at 18:40 when Smith sent a pass across the slot to Marek Valach who one-timed the shot into the back of the net to tie the game 2-2. Things got physical shortly after the goal with Jake Johnson tripped St. Ivany well after the whistle and Kevin Conley took exception which resulted in both Johnson and Conley receiving game ejections. The RoughRiders outshot the Herd 20-4 in the period.
It remained tied midway through the third period until Jaxon Nelson regained the lead for the Herd at the 11:04 mark. Nelson took a pass from Colin Swoyer and weaved his way past the RoughRiders defense and into the right circle where he wristed a shot under the right arm of Patera and into the net for a 3-2 lead. With the RoughRiders scrambling to try and tie the game, the Herd put the game away for good when Matt Querica’s shot from the left point was deflected into the net by Nelson for his second of the night and a 4-2 lead for the road time.
Sioux Falls outshot the RoughRiders 9-5 in the period, but were outshot 38-25 in the game. Sioux Falls finished the night 1-for-5 on the powerplay while Cedar Rapids went 1-for-6.
The Herd return to action next weekend when they host the Youngstown Phantoms for a weekend series at the PREMIER Center. Game times are 7:05 PM each night and tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office. Saturday is Military Night, presented by the South Dakota Army National Guard. Players will be wearing specialty military jerseys that will be raffled off during the game.