Sioux Falls, SD—Two first period goals would be all the Sioux Falls Stampede would need as they held off the Sioux City Musketeers 2-1 before 6,074 fans at the PREMIER Center Friday night. Sioux Falls finished the season series with the Musketeers 7-0-1. The Herd improved to 38-16-7 and remain tied for second place with Waterloo with 83 points and one game remaining in the season. The Stampede need a win Saturday at home against Des Moines and a loss by Waterloo at Dubuque to secure the second seed. The Black Hawks hold the tiebreaker should the teams finish the season with the same number of points, meaning Sioux Falls needs to finish ahead of the Hawks in total points.
Cade Borchardt and Sam Stevens scored goals for the Herd while Jaxson Stauber was solid in between the pipes stopping 18 of 19 shots to earn his 15th win of the season. The Herd are now a franchise best 22-5-2 at the PREMIER Center this season and are 13-2-1 in their last 16 home contests.
The Stampede came out ready to play and put plenty of pressure on goaltender Ben Kraws. Sioux Falls grabbed the first goal of the game at 9:10 when Cade Borchardt tallied his 12th goal of the season. Borchardt took a pass from Mason Klee up the right-wing boards and wristed a shot that slid through the five-hole of Kraws for a 1-0 lead. It remained that way until the 18:58 when the Herd extended their lead on a goal from Sam Stevens. Ryan Johnson wristed a shot that went off the leg of Andre Lee and onto the stick of Stevens who wristed a shot into the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage. The Herd also drew a penalty late in the period which carried over into the second period. Sioux Falls outshot the Musketeers 9-2 in the period.
The Stampede were not able to convert on the power play and just seconds after the penalty expired, the Musketeers struck for the first time. The Stampede turned the puck over in front of the Musketeers benched and it led to a 2-on-0 when Bobby Brink sent the puck in front of the net to Marcus Kallionkieli who quickly one-timed it home to make it a 2-1 game. The Stampede and Musketeers went back-and-forth for the remainder of the period with both teams exchanging power play as and the Herd outshooting the Musketeers 11-10.
The Musketeers tried to battled back in the third, but Stauber and the Stampede stood tall and shutdown the Bucs, stopping all six shots in the period. Sioux City pulled Kraws in the final minute, but were unable to generate much and the Stampede earned a hard fought 2-1 victory.
Sioux Falls outshot Sioux City 7-6 in the third and 27-18 in the game while both teams finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play.
The Stampede close out the regular season on Saturday when they host Des Moines at 7:05 PM for Take My Jersey Night, presented by Waterbury Heating and Cooling and Coleman. Fans can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to take home a game worn Stampede jersey right after the game. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are available through the KELOLAND Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.