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Stampede Close Out 2013 With 5-3 Win At Fargo

Sioux Falls Stampede vs Fargo Force, 12-31-2013
Sioux Falls Stampede

FARGO, ND — Two goals in the final minute of the second period and a goal in the first minute of third period helped power the Sioux Falls Stampede past the Fargo Force 5-3 Tuesday night.

Keith Burchett tallied two goals and an assist while C.J. Franklin added three assists in the victory. David Jacobson earned his 13th win of the season in goal with 32 saves as the Herd improved to 20-7-2 on the season and in third place in the West, just one point behind Waterloo for second. The Stampede are now 5-0-0 against Fargo this season.

Both teams looked a little sluggish out of the gates and the Stampede power play was put to work early with a five-minute advantage, but the Herd were unable to connect and the game remained scoreless for the first half of the period. The Stampede broke the scoreless tie at 16:56 when Jason Stephanik tallied his first goal as a member of the Stampede. Tony Calderone brought the puck into the Force zone, drove into the right circle and fired a shot on Fargo goaltender Cam Johnson that was stopped, but Stephanik was there for the rebound and backhanded it into the back of the net to give the Stampede a 1-0 advantage at the end of one period.

The Stampede got more power play opportunities early in the second period, but it would be the Force who would take advantage as Fargo tied the game at 6:34 on a shorthanded tally from Alex Jackstadt who took a cross ice pass from Neal Goff and wristed a shot from the right circle past Jacobson to make it a 1-1 game. The game went back-and-forth until the 17:35 mark when Michael Babcock was hauled down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. Jacobson stopped Babcock on a forehand shot and that save gave the momentum back to the Stampede. The Herd regained the lead with 58 seconds left when Burchett took the puck behind the net and fed it into left circle to Zeb Knutson who wristed a shot past Johnson to give the Herd a 2-1 lead. Seconds later the Herd were awarded a four-minute power play and took advantage with just 10 seconds left when Burchett scored off a rebound. Franklin’s shot was stopped by Johnson, but Burchett pounced on the rebound and riffled a shot just underneath the crossbar to give Sioux Falls a 3-1 advantage after two periods. Fargo outshot the Stampede 11-8 in the period.

The Herd picked up right where they left off in the third, scoring again on the power play just 47 seconds in. Much like the end of the second period, Franklin got the puck onto the net and Burchett followed up with a rebound, firing the shot into the back of the net to give Sioux Falls a 4-1 edge. The Force would make things a little interesting later in the period, scoring at 8:29 and then again on the power play at 16:50, but Dakota Joshua sealed the game with an empty net goal with 1:10 left in regulation to lift the Stampede to a 5-3 victory.

Fargo outshot the Stampede 35-30 on the night and went 1-for-4 on the power play while the Herd were 2-for-9.

Sioux Falls returns to action this Friday and Saturday when they host Tri-City for a pair of games.

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Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede

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