Lincoln, Neb.—Tony Calderone scored twice while Charlie Lindgren stopped 19 of 20 shots in goal as the Stampede topped the Lincoln Stars, 4-1 at the Ice Box on Friday night. The Stampede improved to 29-10-1 on the season and increased their lead in the West to six points over second place Fargo. Sioux Falls is now 6-2-0 on their current nine-game road swing and have won 16 of their last 19 games overall.
Lincoln came out of the gates swarming the Stampede net and putting the Herd on the back of their heels, but Stampede goaltender Charlie Lindgren was solid and kept the Stars off the board. The Herd grabbed the first goal of the game at 16:56 when Tony Calderone scored his 21st goal of the season on the powerplay. Calderone won the draw inside the left circle and quickly cut in front of the goal where he slipped the puck under the left pad of Lincoln netminder Jackson Teichroeb. The Herd appeared to be taking that lead into the locker room, but the Stars struck with just 23 seconds remaining to tie the game at one. Brad Hawkinson wristed a shot from the left circle that was stopped by Lindgren, but the rebound bounced to Jake Wood who wacked the puck into the net to make it a 1-1 game at the end of one. The Stampede outshot the Stars 11-9 in the period.
Sioux Falls grabbed a 2-1 lead at 4:11 when Victor Bjorkung tallied his fifth goal of the season. Bjorkung intercepted a pass in the high slot and wristed a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net to make it a 2-1 game. Just over two minutes later the Herd added to their lead when Tony Calderone tallied his second goal of the night. Calderone took a pass in the slot and lost control of the puck just the left of the goal, but spun around and centered the puck which deflected off a Lincoln player and over the shoulder of Teichroeb to give the Stampede a 3-1 lead. That would end the night for Teichroeb who was then replaced by Michael Bitzer. Sioux Falls outshot the Stars 11 to 7 and took the 3-1 lead into the locker room.
Sioux Falls controlled play in much of the third period and put the game away for good at 14:54 when Ryan Siiro ripped a shot from just over the blue line that went right past the stick side of Bitzer to give Sioux Falls a 4-1 advantage and the Herd never looked back. The Herd outshot the Stars 9-4 in the third and 31-20 on the night. The Herd finished the night 1-for-5 on the powerplay while Lincoln was 0-for-1.
Sioux Falls will close out their nine-game road swing Saturday night when they travel to Sioux City to take on the Musketeers at the Tyson Events Center. Game time is set for 7:05 PM and fans can catch the game live on KELO-AM 1320 starting at 6:40 PM.