Sioux Falls, SD—Trailing 4-1 entering the third period, the Sioux Falls Stampede rallied with four unanswered goals in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints Thursday night at the PREMIER Center. The Herd scored four times on the power play and once shorthanded in the victory to improve to 11-7-3 on the year. Sioux Falls has now earned at least a point in four straight games and improved to 5-2-1 on home ice this season.
Max Crozier led the way with two goals, including the game winner, and an assist while Jami Krannila and Ethan Phillips tallied a goal and an assist each in the win. Jaxson Stauber started the night and stopped 13 of 17 shots before being relieved by Alec Calvaruso who stopped all 10 shots faced to earn his first career USHL win.
After a scoreless first period, things heated up in the second, but not in a good way for the Herd. The Saints went on a power play six minutes into the period and converted just seconds into the advantage when James Sanchez wristed a shot just inside the right circle and past the glove of Jaxson Stauber. Dubuque increased their lead just four minutes later when a soft shot by Derek Contessa went off the stick of Stauber and bounced into the goal. The Fighting Saints extended their lead at 13:28 when Matias Maccelli scored shorthaned. Maccelli stole the puck inside the neutral zone and spun of Stampede defenders where he was able to wrist a shot over the glove of Stauber again for a 3-0 advantage.
The Herd broke through later on the power play when Andre Lee tallied his eighth of the season. Lee picked up a loose rebound and backhanded a shot that bounced off the pads of Dubuque goaltender Matthew Thiessen and over the line. The celebration wouldn’t last long as the Saints responded less than a minute later on a goal from Jacob Semik that sent Stauber to the bench and brought newly acquired goaltender Alec Calvaruso. Dubuque outshot the Stampede 19-15 through two periods.
The amazing comeback started at 7:21 of the third period when Jami Kranilla scored his eighth goal of the season on the power play. Right as the Stampede were gaining momentum, Andre Lee was flagged for hooking and the Herd were shorthanded with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation. It looked as though things were headed back in Dubuque’s favor, but the Stampede changed that when Ryan Sullivan intercepted a pass and found Jared Westcott in the offensive zone. Westcott fired a shot on goal that was stopped by Thiessen, but the rebound bounced to Max Crozier who knocked it home to pull the Herd within a goal at 4-3. Two minutes later the Herd were on a power play of their own and they cashed in on a goal from Ethan Phillips at 15:32. Max Crozier fired a shot through traffic that was stopped by Thiessen, but the rebound came to Phillips who backhanded it into the net to send the crowd into a frenzy and tie the game, 4-4.
That goal would eventually force overtime where the Herd were all over the Saints, but Thiessen made back-to-back incrediable saves to keep the game tied. Meanwhile Calvaruso was solid in goal for the Herd, stopping all three shots in the OT. The Stampede caught a break 3:35 into the overtime when Dubuque was charged with too many men on the ice, putting the Stampede on the power play. The Herd would cap off the amazing comeback when Crozier tallied his second of the night and fourth power play goal of the game for the Stampede. Ethan Phillips found Crozier at the right point and Crozier’s blast went through traffic and into the goal to give the Stampede their fifth home win of the season and end a three game winless slide at the PREMIER Center.
The Stampede outshot the Fighting Saints 4-3 in overtime and 28-27 on the night. The Herd finished 4-for-5 on the power play while Dubuque was 1-for-2.
Sioux Falls returns to action Friday night when they host the Green Bay Gamblers at 7:05 PM on Innovative Office Solutions Night. Saturday night is round two for the Herd against the Gamblers and Ugly Sweater Night.