SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Anthony Romano tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Sioux Falls Stampede to a 4-3 victory over rival Sioux City before 7,463 fans at the PREMIER Center Saturday. The win came on Hockey Day South Dakota in which the Herd paid tribute to hockey all across the state. Sioux Falls improved to 11-2-1 since December 1st and now 12-3-1 on home ice this season. The win moved the Herd into sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference and moved them within one point of third place Waterloo.
With a big crowd on hand the Stampede wanted to get them into the game early and came out with plenty of energy in the first. The Herd went on the power play just over eight minutes into the game and cashed in when Ethan Phillips tallied his 7th goal of the season. On a tic-tac-toe play, Max Crozier and Anthony Romano worked together to get the puck inside the left circle to Phillips who one-timed it right past Sioux City netminder Jake Sibell. It stayed that way until 15:29 when Sioux City tied the goal on wrist shot from Iam Malcolmson. Sioux Falls outshot Sioux City 8-6 in the period.
The Herd got the energy back early in the second and regained the lead at 4:38 when Matt Kessel perfectly wristed a shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net to make it a 2-1 game. Less than three minutes later the Herd extended their lead when Jared Wescott tallied his 8th of the year. Brian Chambers and Ryan Sullivan worked the puck up the right-wing side of the boards to Westcott who drove into the right circle and backhanded a shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net for a 3-1 lead. It remained that way until 16:14 when Albin Nilsson scored on the power play for Sioux City. Nilsson broke in front of the Stampede net and goaltender Alec Calvaruso tried to poke check the puck away, but Nilsson was able to slip it past him to make it 3-2 after two periods. Sioux Falls outshot Sioux City 12-2 in the period.
The third period was very back-and-forth until Jami Krannila was flagged for a five-minute check from behind and game misconduct. The Herd were able to draw a penalty a minute into the Sioux City power play to knock some time off, but still had over two minutes to kill off and were able to do so successfully, stealing some of the momentum.
Sioux Falls went on a power play of their own with just under four minutes remaining and scored to give themselves a little insurance. Anthony Romano picked up a loose puck to the right of Sibell and lifted it into the net to bring all 7,463 fans to their feet in celebration. Turns out the Herd would need the goal as Marcus Kallionkieli would jam in a loose puck in the crease with the goaltender pulled to make it 4-3. The Musketeers pulled their goaltender again, but the Stampede were able to hold them off to earn a big two points in the standings.
Sioux Falls outshot Sioux City 27-15 on the night and went 2-for-4 on the power play while the Musketeers went 1-for-3.
The Herd return to action next Wednesday when they host the Fargo Force at 7:05 PM at the PREMIER Center. Tickets are available at the PREMIER Center or any Ticketmaster outlet. Sioux Falls will then travel to Fargo for two games on Friday and Saturday.