Stampede Roll Past Fargo 7-4
Fargo, ND - In a game that lived up to the hype of two teams playing each other for the third time in four days, the Sioux Falls Stampede pushed aside the Fargo Force, 7-4 at Scheels Arena. Artem Ivanyuzhenkov tallied a hat trick while Brian Chambers chipped in with three assists and Jared Westcott and Andre Lee both posted a goal and an assist each. Alec Calvaruso stopped 25 of 29 shots in goal.
The Herd took five of a possible six points in the three games against Fargo and improved to 21-9-4 and in fourth place in the Western Conference, just two points behind second place Des Moines and Waterloo with two games in hand. The Stampede are now 5-2-1 against the Force this season and 5-0-1 in their last six games. Sioux Falls is now 13-2-2 since December 1st and have scored four our more goals in 13 of their last 17 games.
The Stampede got things rolling early in the game when they cashed in on a power play opportunity. Austen Swankler sent a pass from the right circle to Artem Ivanyuzhenkov who kicked the puck to his stick and backhanded the shot into the back of the net 4:09 into the game. Sioux Falls would kill off a penalty of their own before going back on the man advantage later in the period. Sioux Falls controlled play much of the power play and then scored right after Fargo returned to full strength at 16:57. After having his shot blocked, Brian Chambers grabbed the puck behind the net and wrapped it around to the front of the goal for Andre Lee who knocked the puck into the net for a 2-0 lead. Sioux Falls outshot Fargo 10-5 in the period.
Things got crazy in the second period. Ben Meyers scored just 50 seconds into the period to get the Force onto the board, but the Stampede responded five minutes later when Jared Westscott tallied his ninth goal of the season. Ryan Sullivan sent a pass to the edge of the right circle to Chambers who quickly backhanded the puck across the slot to Westcott who came sliding in down the left wing boards for a 3-1 lead. The Force responded with two quick goals from Christoffer Bjork and Mike Kesselring to tie the game at three.
Things got physical at the midway point of the period as both teams exchanged blows. Jami Krannila dropped the gloves with Jake Harrison and took him down onto the ice. The Herd would take some momentum from that and turn it into a goal at 17:25 when Ivanyuzhenkov tallied his second of the night. With the Stampede charging into the zone, Chambers sent a pass to the bottom of the left circle for Cade Borchardt who quickly sent the puck across the ice to Ivanyuzhenkov who one-timed it home to give the Herd a 4-3 lead. Fargo outshot the Herd 13-11 in the period.
Fargo would tie the game just 2:36 into the third when Ben Meyers wristed a shot from the right circle that beat Calvaruso under the right arm and the game was 4-4. It remained tied until the 11:33 mark when the Stampede got a little luck from the back boards. Ethan Phillips too the puck from the left circle and fired it wide of the net, but it bounced off the back-end wall, off the back of Bischel and into the net for a 5-4 lead.
Fargo pulled their goaltender with just under two minutes remaining in regulation for an extra attacker. The Herd sealed it when Ivanyuzhenkov completed the hat trick with an empty net goal with 48 seconds remaining, his 15th of the season. The Force kept their goaltender pulled and Blake Bride put a stamp on the win with his seventh of the season.
Fargo outshot the Herd 11-9 in the third period and both teams finished the night with 29 shots. The Stampede went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Force were 1-for-4.
Sioux Falls hits the road again next weekend when they travel to Cedar Rapids and Madison on Friday and Saturday night. Puck drops are 7:05 PM each night and fans can catch all the action on KELO News Talk 1320-AM, 105.1-FM, 107.9-FM and KELO.com. The Herd return home on January 31st when they host Central Illinois.
Images from this story
Sioux Falls Stampede goaltender Alec Calvaruso vs. the Fargo Force
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