CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The defending Clark Cup Champion Sioux Falls Stampede opened their new season with a 6-3 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers at the 2019 DICK's Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic. Six different players scored for the Herd and goaltender Nate Reid stopped 47 of 50 shots in the contest.
Despite only returning two full-time players from the Clark Cup championship team, the new-look Stampede demonstrated it didn’t matter, as fresh faces lit up the scoreboard on Saturday afternoon at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex outside of Pittsburgh.
Forward Luke Weilandt opened up the scoring for Sioux Falls 6:52 into the first period after breaking through the defense and placed a shot from the top of the circles over Des Moines goaltender Cameron Rowe. Defenseman Nick Anderson provided the assist on the goal. A few minutes later, German forward Timo Bakos put in a goal off a rebound in front of the net to give the Herd a 2-0 lead after one period of play.
Five minutes into the second period forward Jakub Lewandowski scored on another loose puck in front of the net to give the Herd a 3-0 advantage.
Buccaneers forward Joey Strada found the back net at the 13:14 mark of the second, but Stampede forward Tyler Coffey, acquired in a trade with the Tri-City Storm on Monday, responded with a goal :10 seconds later for the 4-1 lead. Des Moines dominated the shot count with 20 in the second frame, but Stampede goaltender Nate Reid stood tall, denying 19 of them.
An early power play opportunity in the third for the Herd extended the lead 5-1, as assistant captain Jared Westcott accepted a pass from Anderson in front of Rowe for the five-hole score. The Buccaneers kept the pressure on the Herd defense, scoring two more goals in the waning moments of the game, but forward Brenden Olson wrapped things up with :22 seconds left in regulation with an empty net goal to give the Stampede their first victory of the 2019-20 season. Goaltender Reid earned his first USHL win in the contest as well.
The Stampede return to action tomorrow afternoon in a Clark Cup Final rematch with the Chicago Steel in the second of two games at the Fall Classic with a scheduled puck drop at 4 p.m. CT. Fans can catch the game streaming live at HockeyTV.com or follow along on our social media @sfstampede.