Sioux Falls, SD (KELO-AM) - The Sioux Falls Stampede 2013 postseason began the same way their regular season ended—with a win, as Tony Calderone’s wrist shot in overtime rewarded the Stampede with a 3-2, Game 1 victory over the Lincoln Stars Tuesday night at the Arena. The Trenton, Mich. native sent Sioux Falls fans happy 1:21 into extra period when Todd Skirving hit the winger for Calderone’s second goal of the game. The Stampede lead the best-of-five Western Conference semi-final series, 1 -0.
“Skirving put the puck right on my stick and I had all the time in the world,” said Calderone. “It was a good play by my line mates and just a big play.”
Zeb Knutson also marked the scoreboard for the Herd while netminder Charlie Lindgren pushed away 28 of 30 Star shot attempts for Sioux Falls, who wrapped up their best season in franchise history on Saturday.
“There was not a lot of quit in either team,” said head coach Cary Eades. “We just made enough plays to win at the end.”
The Herd scored their first goal of the 2013 USHL Playoffs at 9:32 when Calderone rushed down the center and slammed in a rebound after a 2-on-1 breakaway from Kyle Schempp and Todd Skirving, providing Sioux Falls a 1-0 lead almost halfway to intermission.
“Schempp and Skirving were working real hard and got to the net. I was able to pick up the rebound,” said Calderone. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
C.J. Franklin nearly made it 2-0 on a shorthanded rush by himself less than a minute later during Lincoln’s first power play of the early evening.
The Minnesota State-Mankato connection increased the lead to 2-0 at 6:22 in the second period after a nifty play by a pair of future Mavericks. C.J. Franklin guided a pass from behind the net to Zeb Knutson, who knocked it through Teichroeb in a lightning quick motion.
Lincoln responded promptly however, cutting the lead in half to 2-1, 33 seconds later when Stars winger Will Suter backhanded a loose puck past by Lindgren. It was a fairly clean game through two periods, with a lone penalty called on Sioux Falls through 40 minutes.
After pressuring Lindgren and the Herd defense most of the second period Lincoln finally evened the score at 4:39 of the third via a booming shot from the right point from Star forward Dominik Shine. The Herd had a prime chance to clinch the game with their second power play with 8:35, but their man advantage struggles at home would continue as both teams entered overtime.
Both teams had barely hit the ice for some bonus hockey when Calderone sunk the blistering shot right off the faceoff, giving the Herd Game 1 and setting them in great position tomorrow night at the Arena for Game 2.
“Game 1 is always important but it’s only one. It’s the best-of-five for a reason,” said head coach Cary Eades. “One down, a bunch more to go.”
Game 2 of the series is set for Wednesday night at the Arena at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available at the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office or any Tickemaster location.