Sioux Falls Stampede

Stampede Sweep League-Leading Force

March 2, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Sioux Falls Stampede News Release

FARGO, ND - The Sioux Falls Stampede swept the Fargo Force in their two games at Scheels Arena in Fargo. The team's point leader JJ Wiebusch opened the scoring while newly acquired Chase LaPinta earned two goals including the game-winning goal. Goaltender Michael Chambre stayed steady in the net to fend off the Fargo Force. The Sioux Falls Stampede moved to 23-22-4-1 and now has 51 points on the season.

The Stampede created opportunities late to move the momentum to their side. The first half of the first period saw no action. At 9:32 of the period, Fargo's Jake Fischer was called for high-sticking, sending the Herd to the power play. The team was unable to convert on the power play, but a few minutes later the Stampede got on the board first. Team points leader JJ Wiebusch scored after slowing down before shooting right in front of the net. Four minutes later the Herd would strike again after catching Force goaltender Anton Castro off guard. A heads-up pass from Hunter Anderson earned defenseman Kaz Sobieski his second goal of the season. The Stampede were not done yet, though. John McNelis tipped the puck over Castro off a shot from linemate Jakzen Panzer. The goal did go under review but was later confirmed to send the Herd to the locker room with a 3-0 lead putting the Force in an unfamiliar position.

The second period followed a different script than the first with little action. At 4:30, Stampede affiliate Jackson Rudh found the back of the net in his second career USHL game, but after review, the goal was overturned as it appeared Rudh kicked the puck across the goal line. A few minutes later the Herd headed to their second power play of the night after former Stampede player Merrill Steenari was called for interference after taking down defenseman Kaz Sobieski near the blue line. Again, the Stampede were unable to convert. At 11:20, the Herd went to their first penalty kill of the night and were able to keep the Force at bay. Before the end of the second period, the Stampede added to their tally. Newly acquired Chase LaPinta earned his second goal in his second game for the Stampede to send the team into intermission with a 4-0 lead.

The final frame of the game saw some of the most action with five goals and thirty minutes of penalties. Tensions started to rise in the third as both teams were called for roughing less than thirty seconds into the third period. Nearly a minute later, Fargo got on the board with a goal from the team's leading scorer Mac Swanson. Zach Nehring was called for hooking at 5:58, but the Stampede were able to kill it off. Two minutes after the kill, Chase LaPinta earned his second goal of the night after sending the puck bar down. Shortly after tensions reached their peak as Fargo's Tate Taylor ripped Zach Nehring's helmet off in hopes of dropping gloves with the Stampede forward. Both players were charged with a roughing minor and a misconduct for continuing altercations. The Force used the momentum to get their second goal of the night. With nearly four minutes remaining Fargo pulled their goaltender and the Stampede quickly took advantage. Chase LaPinta brought the puck into the zone and sent it over to Tyler Borgula who sent it over to Jaksen Panzer who earned the empty net goal. The selfless play nearly sealed the weekend sweep for the Herd. After sending Anton Castro back to the crease, the Force earned another goal with nineteen seconds remaining. The late push by the Force did little to cut the Stampede's lead. The Stampede headed home with four points and the weekend sweep.

Goaltender Michael Chambre stayed steady in the net after a rough February. The goaltender earned the win after making 38 saves on 41 shots and earning a .927 save percentage. He now moves to 16-11-3-1 on the season and boasts a .874 save percentage with a 3.65 goals-against average.

Next weekend the Stampede will head to Madison, WI, to face off against the Eastern Conference Madison Capitols. The Herd do not return home till March 17th when they will take on the Omaha Lancers at 4:05 pm for Stomp's Birthday Bash presented by Dental Solutions. Tickets for all Stampede home games are available now through the KELOLAND box office, Stampede office, or any Ticketmaster outlets.

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