Ralston, NE—The comeback kids tried to do it once again, but this time the magic wasn’t there as the Sioux Falls Stampede fell to the Omaha Lancers, 4-2 Sunday at Ralston Arena. The Herd are now just 2-6-1 over the last five seasons at Ralston Arena.
Sioux Falls (33-14-7) remains in third place in the Western Conference, one point back of second place Waterloo who they will face at Young Arena on Tuesday night. Sam Stevens and Artem Ivanyuzhenkov tallied goals for the Herd while Jaxson Stauber stopped 24 of 27 shots in goal.
After a scoreless first period in which the Herd outshot the Lancers 13-6, Omaha grabbed the first goal of the game 3:42 into the second. Jan Kern drove wide down the left-wing boards before sending a pass through the crease to Bryce Brodzinski who one-timed the puck past Jaxson Stauber. It marked the fifth straight game in which the Herd allowed the first goal.
Sioux Falls got into a little trouble with a penalty call later in the period, but the Stampede took advantage. Blake Bride battled and stole the puck just outside the left circle and sent a pass through the slot to streaking Sam Stevens who took the puck and then backhanded a shot through the pads of Omaha goaltender Akira Schmid at 9:13.
The Lancers regained the lead at 15:55 when Chase Bradley scored on a rebound in front of the Stampede net to make it 2-1 at the end of two periods. The Lancers outshot the Herd 12-11 and went into the third period with the man advantage.
The Herd were able to kill off the penalty and the game remained close throughout the period, but Omaha wasn’t giving the Herd too many good scoring opportunities. The Lancers were able to extend their lead at 13:53 when Brodzinski struck again. Daniel Hilsendager sent a pass up the right-wing boards to Brodzinski who skated in and blasted a shot over the left shoulder of Stauber for a 3-1 advantage. The Herd showed they weren’t done though as they drew a penalty and went on the power play with just under four minutes remaining in regulation.
Sioux Falls pulled Stauber for an extra attacker and converted when Artem Ivanyuzhenkov blasted a shot into the back of the net. Austen Swankler sent a pass into the slot for Ivanyuzhenkov who wristed it perfectly into the upper right-hand corner of the net to make it a one-goal game at 3-2.
Sioux Falls pulled Stauber again in the final minute for an extra attacker and applied good pressure, but Schmid was solid and the Lancers eventually scored on the empty net with just 12 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the victory.
The Stampede outshot the 13-10 in the third period and 37-28 on the night. They went 1-for-3 on the power play while Omaha finish the night 0-for-3.
Sioux Falls returns to action Tuesday night with a big tilt in Waterloo versus the Black Hawks. Puck drop is 7:05 PM and fans can watch the game live at Buffalo Wild Wings on the TV big screens. Sioux Falls returns home this Friday and Saturday to host Fargo and Cedar Rapids. Puck drops are 7:05 PM and tickets are available through the PREMIER Center.