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Stampede tryout camp concludes in Minneapolis

Sioux Falls Stampede
Sioux Falls Stampede

Minneapolis, MN (KWSN)—Sioux Falls Stampede tryout camp concluded on Monday morning at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis with the final All-Star Game of the weekend. Over 100 players participated in camp, all vying for a spot on the Stampede’s training camp roster in August. Below are recaps of the two All-Star Games featuring the top 40 players in camp.

Game 1:

Minneapolis, MN-If the first All-Star Game is any indication of what the 2013-14 season might look for the Sioux Falls Stampede, fans might be in for another treat this season. Tony Calderone scored twice and Jake Ahlgren added a goal to lift Team Blue to a 3-2 victory over Team White in the first All-Star Game at Stampede tryout camp Sunday night. Dennis Kravchenko scored twice as well for Team White who will get another crack at Blue Sundaymorning in the second and final All-Star Game at Ridder Arena. 

The rosters have been reduced to 40 players for both All-Star Games this weekend. Sunday’s game consisted of two, 30-minute halves. 

The game was scoreless for the first 17 minutes until Tony Calderone (Stampede) got Blue on the board.  Griffen Molino (Brockville Braves) brought the puck inside the left circle before dropping into the slot for Conner Valesano (Stampede) who quickly fed Calderone who one-timed the puck past Team White goaltender David Jacobson (Stampede). 

White would respond five minutes later when the Herd’s leading scorer from last season, Dennis Kravchenko, scored. Kravchenko weaved his way through the Blue defense and danced inside the right circle before lifting the puck into the upper left hand corner of the net, just under the cross bar to tie the game 1-1. Jacobson was solid for White in goal while Gabe Grunwald (Georgetown Raiders) was the same for Blue and the game was 1-1 at the end of the first half. 

Calderone, who was recently named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, scored his second of the night just seven minutes into the second half. He took a pass at center ice from Dakota Joshua (Detroit Honeybaked) and broke into the White zone on a breakaway, scoring on a wrister that sent the puck into the upper right hand corner of the net past the glove of Stephanos Lekkas (Chicago Mission). Team White had a chance to tie the game with 17 minutes remaining, but Logan O’Connor (Calgary Royals) was stopped on a penalty shot by Shane Starrett (Selects Academy Major Midget). 

Six minutes later Team Blue added to their lead when Jake Ahlgren (Stampede) scored on a penalty shot. Ahlgren faked a forehand shot and went to his backhand and the puck sailed over the left pad of Lekkas and into the net to give Blue a 3-1 lead. White got within in a goal in the final minute when Kravchenko made the most of his opportunity on a penalty shot, sending the puck under the left pad of Shane Starrett to make it a one-goal game. With the goaltender pulled, White put on pressure late, but Blue held on for the 3-2 victory. Lekkas played the entire second half in goal for White while Starrett played the entire second half in goal for Blue.

 Game 2:

Minneapolis, MN—Team Blue completed the two game sweep of Team White with a 4-1 victory in the final All-Star Game of tryout camp at Ridder Arena. Four different players scored goals for Blue who edge White, 3-2 in the first game on Sunday night. 

In the first half, the first 10 minutes were played five-on-five, followed by a 10 minute power play for Team Blue and then a 10 minute power play for Team Blue. Neither team was able to score as David Jacobson (Stampede) and the White defense were solid as was Shane Starrett (Selects Academy Major Midget) and the Blue defense.

Team White got in the board five minutes into the second half when Dennis Kravchenko (Stampede) sent a puck behind the blue net for Logan O’Connor (Calgary Royals) who then fed Mitchell Lundholm (Selects Academy U16) alone in the slot for a quick goal. The lead wouldn’t last long however, as Team Blue responded just seconds later when Bryan Sienerth’s (Pittsburgh Penguins) pass through the slot went off a defenseman’s stick and into the net. Jake Ahlgren (Stampede) earned an assist on the goal as well.

Minutes later Ed McGovern (Stampede) gave team Blue a 2-1 lead when he knocked home a loose rebound in the slot off a shot from Griffen Molino (Brockville Braves). Blue grabbed some breathing room with just over five minutes remaining when Conner Valesano’s wrister from the right circle went past the glove side of Stephanos Lekkas (Chicago Mission) to give Team Blue a 3-1 edge. Blue would seal the game for good when Parker Tuomie (Heilbronn Jr.) scored on an empty net to give Blue a 4-1 victory. 

Gabe Grunwald played in between the pipes for Team Blue in the second half and Lekkas played the entire second half in goal for Team White.

The game wraps up tryout camp as the coaches now have the difficult task of cutting down the rosters to just 30 players. In July, the rosters must again be reduced to 25 players and those players will be brought to training camp in Sioux Falls. An official training camp roster will be released later this summer.

Season tickets for the upcoming 2013-14 season are on sale now and can be purchased through the Stampede business office by calling 336-6060 or email at info@sfstampede.com. For complete off-season news visit the Stampede website at www.sfstampede.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at: @sfstampede.

Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede