SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN)—The Sioux Falls Stampede got off to a solid start scoring three times through the first half of the game and held off a late rally by the Des Moines Buccaneers to win 3-2 Friday night at Buccaneer Arena. Dennis Kravchenko, C.J. Franklin and Zeb Knutson all scored goals while David Jacobson earned his second win in as many starts in goal, stopping 29 of 31 shots. The win improved the Stampede’s record to 36-14-2 and increased their lead over Fargo for first in the West to seven points.
The Stampede were looking for a better start to the game then the previous two games in which they were outscored a combined 6-1 and they did just that. The Herd got the first and only goal of the first period at 16:47 when Dennis Kravchenko tallied his 17th goal of the season. Kravchenko scored on a beautiful give-and-go with Zeb Knutson who took the puck just outside the edge of the left circle and fed it right back in front of the goal to Kravchenko who lifted the puck over the left pad of Des Moines goaltender Billy Christopouls and into the net to give Sioux Falls a 1-0 lead. The Herd outshot the Bucs 14-7 in the period.
Sioux Falls controlled play much of the second and added to their lead at 7:19 when C.J. Franklin tallied his 25th goal of the season. Conner Valesano won an offense zone face-off and slid it right into the slot where Franklin wristed a shot through the pads of Christopouls to give the Herd a 2-0 edge. Less than a minute later the Herd scored again when Todd Skirving sent a pass through the neutral zone and onto the tape of Knutson who raced in on a breakaway and wristed a shot into the upper right hand corner of the net to make it a 3-0 game. The Stampede had a couple more chances on the powerplay, but couldn’t find the back of the net and ended the period with 1:01 left on their fifth powerplay and leading 3-0.
Down 3-0, the Bucs (20-29-3) showed they weren’t going down without a fight as they scored twice in the period to make the game much closer than the Herd would have liked. The Bucs got on the board at 2:05 when Eric Martinsson’s blast from the left point was tipped in front of the net by Ryan Galt and past Stampede netminder David Jacobson to make it a 3-1 game. That goal sparked the Bucs who were flying around the net and got to within a goal at 11:39 when Danny Elser wristed a shot from the left circle under the right leg of Jacobson to make it a 3-2 game. The Bucs continued to press late and even drew two penalties on the Herd, but the Stampede penalty kill unit and Jacobson were solid and stopped the Bucs to hold on for a 3-2 victory.
Sioux Falls outshot Des Moines 38-31 on the night and finished 0-for-5 on the powerplay while going 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. The Herd return to action Saturday night when they travel to Cedar Rapids to face the RoughRiders at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch the game live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM starting at 6:40 PM with the Next2New Wireless Pre-Game Show.
Courtesy: Jim Olander - Sioux Falls Stampede