Sioux Falls, SD--Payback was on the on the minds of the Waterloo Black Hawks as they avenged a lopsided 8-3 loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede on Jan. 9 with a 7-1 victory at the Arena Friday night. The Herd found their friendly confines to be none too comfortable after returning from a 6-2-1 road trip, digging themselves into a 3-0 hole after the first period and failing to climb themselves out.
"They (Waterloo) came out ready to go and we didn't," said Knutson, the lone point producer for the Herd on the night. "You can't let a good team like that get up three goals and expect to come back."
Starting goaltender Charlie Lindgren stopped 13 of 20 Black Hawks shots in 28 minutes of play, while backup David Jacobson held Waterloo scoreless in the second on nine shots in relief. Despite the ugly scoreboard, the Stampede (29-11-2) still lead the Western Conference by five points over their night's opponent.
"It's a long season. You're going to have some ups and downs," said head coach Cary Eades. "This is as down as we've been. It's a test of our character and a test of our intestinal fortitude."
Three Black Hawk goals in the first period left the Herd facing a rare deficit after 20 minutes. Winger Zach Stepan kicked off the scoring 4:03 into the game with a swift wrist shot from the left circle. USHL leading scorer Taylor Cammarata contributed a tally with a smooth wrister of his own, this time from the right circle past a sliding Lindgren. The trifecta was completed with 1:51 to go in the penalty-free period as future Golden Gopher Justin Kloos knocked in a shot from in between the circles, pitting the Herd with a 3-0 gap heading into the second.
"We just didn't play well at all in the first period," said Eades. "You just can't play that poorly to start a game, especially on your own rink."
Sioux Falls entered the second period with a new goaltender, as David Jacobson came in relief of Lindgren, who let in three goals on 12 Waterloo attempts. Zeb Knutson snapped the 3-0 shutout with only 11 ticks to go in the second when he chipped in a loose puck in front of a crowded net for his 18th score of the year. The local product's goal provided the Herd a timely momentum boost to end a frustrating Sioux Falls period that featured two empty power plays and several scoring chances.
"We knew that first goal was a big one coming out for the third period," said Knutson. "We tried sticking to it but things just weren't going our way."
Lindgren returned to the net for the start of the third period, but any roll the Herd was riding thanks to Knutson was crushed with resounding authority courtesy of Black Hawk defenseman Victor Newell, who bumped the lead back up to three scores at the 4:10 mark. The goal was the first of four straight in a nine minute span that finished with the Black Hawks bearing a grisly 7-1 lead. David Jacobson re-entered the game to close it out for the Herd. That's the way the Herd's lone game of the weekend would finish, as Sioux Falls dropped only their fifth home game of the season. Sioux Falls ended the forgetful night 0 for 3 on the power play.
Sioux Falls will next travel to Omaha Wednesday to face the Lancers at 7:05 pm. Pregame coverage can be heard with Jim Olander on 1320 KELO AM. The Herd return home next Friday to host Omaha and then Lincoln on Saturday. Game times are 7:05 PM each night and tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office.