Sioux City, IA (KWSN) —The Sioux Falls Stampede scored twice in the second period to break a 1-1 tie and never looked back as they topped the Omaha Lancers, 4-2 at the USHL Fall Classic West in Sioux City. It was the Herd’s fourth game in six days as they improved to 3-1-0 in pre-season play. Keith Burchett, Michael Buonincontri, Zeb Knutson, and Conner Valesano all scored in the win for the Herd. Shane Starrett and Ryan Jacobson split time between the pipes with Starrett stopping 12 of 13 and Jacobson turning aside 21 of 22.
The Lancers opened scoring eight minutes when Tyler Vessel scored shorthaned. Vessel stole the puck and center ice and broke in on a breakaway where he wristed a shot between the circles past the glove side of Stampede goaltender Shane Starrett to give the Lancers a 1-0 lead. Both teams exchanged power play opportunities in the period, but remained 1-0 until 16:57 when the Stampede got on the board on a goal from Keith Burchett. Burchett took a bouncing pass in front of the net and slipped the puck under the right pad of Omaha goaltender Cole Bruns to tie the game 1-1. Omaha outshot the Stampede 9-4 in the period.
Sioux Falls wasted little time taking their first lead of the morning, scoring 5:13 in on a goal from Michael Buonincontri to give the Herd a 2-1 edge. R.J. Majkozak ripped a shot from the left point that was stopped by Bruns, but the rebounded bounced in front where Buonincontri batted it into the back of he net. Sioux Falls added to their lead with 7:41 remaining in the period when Buonicontri sent a pass through the slot where Zeb Knutson dove and batted the puck through the legs of Omaha netminder Atte Tolvanen who entered the game midway through the period. The Stampede led at the end of the period, despite being outshot 12-8.
Early in the third, the Stampede killed off a four minute penalty to Joe Schuldt and maintained their two goal advantage. The Herd took a commanding 4-1 lead with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation when Conner Valesano dance through the slot, past the Omaha defense, and wristed a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net to give the Herd a three goal edge. It stayed that way until the final minute of the period when Ryan Tait wristed a shot past the stick side of Jacobson, but that was as close as the Lancers would get as the Stampede held off the Lancers for a 4-2 victory.
The teams then squared off in a five minute, sudden-death overtime in which Omaha scored 1:16 in on a goal from Jake Randolph. The Stampede win the game, however, despite being outshot 34-17. Sioux Falls went 0-for-2 on the power play while going 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The Stampede will close out USHL Fall Classic West and pre-season play, Thursday night at 7 PM when they play the host Musketeers at the Tyson Events Center. Fans can watch the game live through www.fasthockey.com. The Stampede open the regular season on Saturday, September 21st at Des Moines. The Stampede’s home opener is set for Friday, October 4th versus Omaha.
Individual game tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster location. Season, group and suite tickets are available by calling the Stampede office at 605-336-6060. For more information on all ticket options, including the all new mini-plans, visitwww.sfstampede.com.