Sioux Falls, SD—Ethan Phillips scored twice in the second period and the Sioux Falls Stampede topped the Waterloo Black Hawks 4-2 Thursday night at the PREMIER Center. It was the first game back since the holiday break for both teams.
The Herd (14-8-3) improved to 6-1-1 during the month of December and moved into a three-way tie for fourth place with Fargo and Sioux City with the victory. Ryan Sullivan and Jami Krannila both scored for the Herd while Alec Calvaruso improved to 4-1-0 in between the pipes with 16 saves. The Herd are now 7-2-2 at the PREMIER Center this season.
Any fear the Stampede might be a little rusty were quickly dismissed as the Herd came out strong and put the pressure on Waterloo goaltender Jared Moe early on. The Herd grabbed the first goal of the game at 7:23 when Ryan Sullivan tallied his fifth of the season. Jared Westcott wristed a shot onto the net that was partially stopped by Moe, but the rebound was knocked home inside the crease by Sullivan for a 1-0 lead.
The Stampede would get into penalty trouble shortly thereafter and it resulted in back-to-back goals. With a 5-on-3 advantage Joe Cassetti took the puck in the high slot and slapped a shot just over the left pad of Stampede goaltender Alec Calvaruso to tie the game 1-1. Three minutes later the Hawks were back on the power play and they converted just as it was about to expire when Vladislav Firstov took the puck behind the Stampede net and sent a pass in front of the goal to Emil Ohrvall who quickly one-timed it home for a 2-1 lead. Sioux Falls outshot Waterloo 10-7 in the period.
Sioux Falls worked to get back into the game, but were shut down early in the period by goaltender Jared Moe who was on top of his game and made a couple highlight reel saves. The Herd finally broke through, on the power play, when Jami Kranila wristed a shot from the top of the right circle into the upper right-hand corner of the net to make it a 2-2 game at 12:30. Sioux Falls outshot the Black Hawks 7-5 in the period.
The Stampede continued to pick up momentum in the third and put the pressure on Moe. Sioux Falls would regain the lead at 10:12 when Ethan Phillips scored on the power play. Austen Swankler sent a pass from the right point to the top of the left circle where Phillips quickly one-timed the puck past Moe for a 3-2 lead. Just over a minute later Phillips struck again, this time Jared Westcott sent a pass that jumped over the stick of Phillips, over the stick of a Waterloo defenseman and back to Phillips who quickly slapped the puck into the back of the net for a 4-2 advantage. That would be all the Herd would need as they would hold of the Hawks and earn the 4-2 victory.
Sioux Falls outshot the Black Hawks 11-6 in the period and 28-18 in the game. The Herd were 2-for-9 on the power play while Waterloo finished 2-for-5.
The Herd return to action Saturday night when they travel to Fargo to face the Force at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch the game on KELO 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM and KELO.com. The Herd return home on Monday for their New Year’s Eve game against Lincoln at 6:05 PM.