Dubuque, IA—In a battle of the top two teams in the league, the Stampede (35-13-2) rallied from 3-0 and 4-2 deficits to top the league leading Dubuque Fighting Saints, 5-4 in a shootout Saturday night. Todd Skirving scored in round 5 of the shootout and Charlie Lindgren stopped all five shooters faced to lead the Herd to the win. Sioux Falls finishes the regular season series with a 2-0-0 mark against the best team in the league.
Tony Calderone scored twice while the goaltending duo of Charlie Lindgren and David Jacobson paid off to earn the win. Lindgren played the first period as well as overtime and shootout while Jacobson played the second and third periods. Lindgren earned his league leading 27th win of the season, stopping 11 of 14 shots while Jacobson turned aside 14 of 15 shots. The win, along with the Fargo Force's loss to Lincoln, increased the Herd's lead in the West to seven points and moved them within four points of Dubuque for the Anderson Cup, awarded to the team with the most points during the regular season.
The Fighting Saints (36-9-4) were ready to prove they hold the league's best record for a reason and came out flying with three quick goals in the first period. Jarrid Privitera got things going 6:16 into the game when he scored shorthanded. Privitera broke down the left wing boards and raced in towards the Stampede net wristing a shot on goal that was stopped by Charlie Lindgren, but the rebound came back to Privitera who slapped the puck through the pads and into the net. Just over a minute later the Saints made it 2-0 when Jeff Taylor scored on the powerplay. It stayed that way until 14:48 when Niklas Nevalainen took the puck in the high slot and wristed the puck into the net to make it a 3-0 Dubuque lead. The Saints would take that lead into the locker room, outshooting the Herd 14-6 in the period.
David Jacobson came in between the pipes to start the second and the Stampede came out looking like a totally different team, getting on the board just 1:36 into the period. Kyle Schempp stole the puck from Dubuque goaltender Arthur Brey behind the net and centered to Skirving who scored for the fifth straight game. The Herd pulled to within a goal at 4:01 when Tony Calderone took the puck in the slot off a pass from Skirving and wristed a shot through the pads of Brey to make it a 3-2 game. It remained a one goal game until 13:14 of the second when Eric Freschi blasted a shot from the right point past the stick side of Jacobson to give the Saints a 4-2 lead after two periods. The Herd outshot the Saints 9-3 in the period.
Dubuque was flagged for a penalty 7:47 into the third period and broke a six-game scoreless streak on the powerplay when Calderone tallied his second of the night. Calderone intercepted a Dubuque pass right in front of the net and quickly fired a shot past the glove side of Brey for his second of the night and 25th goal of the season to make it a 4-3 game. It remained that way until the final four minutes when Sioux Falls once again went on the powerplay and took advantage of the situation. C.J. Franklin picked up the puck in the high slot and ripped the puck into the upper right hand corner of the net to tie the game 4-4 and brought the Stampede bench to their feet. Seconds later, Calderone nearly tallied the hat trick with a slap shot just over the blue line that clanked off the crossbar.
In overtime, Lindgren returned back in between the pipes and stopped all four Dubuque shots while Brey stopped all three Stampede opportunities and the game went into a shootout. After four scoreless rounds in the shootout, Todd Skirving's wrist shot past the stick side of Brey in round 5 gave the Herd a 1-0 edge. Lindgren stopped Dubuque's Gambrell and the Herd earned the emotional come-from-behind victory.
Sioux Falls outshot Dubuque 30-29 in the game and finished the night 2-for-4 on the powerplay while Dubuque finished 2-for-2.
The Herd return to action this Wednesday when they host the Fargo Force at 7 PM at the Sioux Falls Arena. Tickets are available through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.