Sioux Falls, SD--The Sioux Falls Stampede showed the top offense in the league whose boss as they manhandled the Waterloo Black Hawks 8-3 at the Arena Wednesday night front of 2,822 fans.
The Black Hawks (20-12-0) came into the contest leading the USHL in goals, assists and points but only managed three goals on 31 shots against the Stampede who have won seven straight games as they begin a nine-game road trip this Friday in Des Moines. Sioux Falls (23-8-1) regained their first place Western Conference lead by displaying their vast offensive depth with eight goals from eight different scorers, with hot forward C.J. Franklin paving the way with three points (1g, 2a). In all, 12 different players registered at least a point in the win.
"You never know where it's coming from," said head coach Cary Eades. "I thought we were very unselfish with the puck and we really made a lot of good plays that weren't fancy. They were just smart hockey plays and as a result you have a real solid victory."
Fourth-liner Cody Milan got things rolling for the Herd in the first period with his fourth goal of the season 4:03 into the fledgling game, wristing in the puck from the right side at a difficult angle. The Herd continued their flawless play with a score from Tony Calderone almost two minutes later when the Princeton recruit found himself isolated on a sudden breakaway and faked out Waterloo netminder Eamon McAdam with a fabulous backhand maneuver.
Two more goals from Victor Bjorkung and Dennis Kravchenko within 43 seconds of each other later in the period provided the Herd with a 4-0 lead over a more-than-potent Waterloo squad heading into the first intermission. Charlie Lindgren was also perfect in the opening twenty minutes, preventing all ten Black Hawk shots thrown at him.
"We knew we had to be good defensively but we also had to bury some pucks," said Franklin, who has 11 points in his last six games.
Sioux Falls kept their foot clamped firmly on the gas pedal in the second period despite Waterloo's first score of the game a mere 39 seconds after the played hopped onto the ice. The Herd responded to the potentially tide-turning Waterloo goal exactly 90 seconds later courtesy of center Kyle Schempp, who blew a shot by Cal Petersen from the left circle for his eighth score of the year.
Two consecutive power play scores by C.J. Franklin and Sam Rothstein followed by a Preston Hodge goal left the Herd resting quite comfortably at 8-1 going into the final twenty minutes. The Hodge score was especially eye-catching, as he worked around a defender in between the circles and promptly wristed the puck into the basket.
Lindgren allowed two more Waterloo goals in the last period as Sioux Falls glided to an 8-3 mid-week victory, their 10th in their last 11 games. The win gives the Herd quite a bit of confidence as their hiatus from their home will start in less than 48 hours when they had to Des Moines on Friday to face the Buccaneers at 7:05 pm.
"I think it's a good challenge. We've had some recent success on the road where we've gone out and really played a strong team game," said Eades. "It‘s time for us to go on the road and prove ourselves there."
Charlie Lindgren started the game and made 20 saves on 21 shots while Jan Obernesser played 13 minutes of the third period and stopped 8 of 10 shots.
Pregame coverage for the Stampede's game against the Bucs on Friday can be heard on KELO-AM 1320 starting at 6:40 PM with Jim Olander. The Stampede return home on February 8th when they welcome the Black Hawks to the Sioux Falls Arena one more time.