Sioux Falls Stampede

Herd Clinches First Clark Cup Playoff Berth Since 2019

April 6, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Sioux Falls Stampede News Release

KEARNEY, NEB.- The Sioux Falls Stampede was unable to sweep the Tri-City Storm on Saturday night, falling 6-3, but was able to clinch its first playoff berth since the 2018-2019 season. Grant Dillard, Noah Eyre and John McNelis each tallied goals for the Herd during the second of three games this weekend.

With no movement on the scoreboard for half of the first frame, Joe Belisle was sent to the penalty box for hooking, sending the Herd onto the penalty kill. This did not hinder the Herd as Grant Dillard was able to tab the first goal of the night, an unassisted, short-handed tally. Just a few minutes later, the Storm was able to tie the game up at one, the score that would stand heading into the first intermission. The Stampede was out shot by large numbers in the first period, marking six against the Storm's 19.

The Storm dominated the next 29 minutes of play, tallying four additional goals, two in the second period and two in the third. Noah Eyre pulled the Stampede one goal closer with a quick toe drag from the right-wing side. Finally, John McNelis marked his second goal of the weekend, bringing the deficit to three goals. This score would stand and the Herd would fall 6-3, splitting the series with the Storm.

Though the Herd couldn't add more points to its standings, the Fargo Force ended up helping the Stampede clinch its playoff berth with a 5-4 win over the Des Moines. The Herd has not seen the USHL Clark Cup Playoffs since its title-clinching postseason in 2019. Just one spot remains up for grabs in the Western Conference with the Lincoln Stars and Des Moines Buccaneers battling for the spot. The Herd is now seven points behind the Tri-City Storm, so the team will be finishing the season in either fifth or sixth place as they have just six points available. The Lincoln Stars sit three points behind the Herd and the two teams will be traveling for the first round of playoffs.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Herd travels over to Sioux City to take on the Musketeers at 3:05 p.m. After this weekend, the Herd will play a home-and-home series against the Fargo Force to close the regular season. April 13th is Kid's Night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER. More information on the night is available on the Stampede website. Tickets for the Herd's final regular-season game are available at the Stampede office, KELOLAND box office and Ticketmaster.

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