SIOUX FALLS, SD -- It wasn’t the story book ending the Sioux Falls Stampede were hoping for, but the largest crowd to witness a indoor sporting event in South Dakota were treated to a entertaining game as the Waterloo Black Hawks downed the Herd 6-4 Saturday night.

A record setting crowd of 10, 678 witnessed the first ever game at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, the largest opening night crowd in USHL history. The loss dropped the Herd’s record to 1-3-1 on the season while Waterloo improved to 3-2-0 on the year.

There were some nervous skaters on the ice for both teams in the early goings, but it would be the Black Hawks would score the first ever goal at the PREMIER Center when Tyler Sheehy wristed a shot right off the faceoff and beat Stampede goaltender Art Brey on the stick side at 9:24.

The Herd would battle back though scoring just minutes later when Parker Tuomie slammed home a rebound to tie the game 1-1. The goal was recorded at 11:41 with assists from Dakota Joshua and Chaz Switzer, the first ever scored by the Herd at the PREMIER Center.

The celebration wouldn’t last long however, as Brock Boeser and Niko Hildenbrand would tally back-to-back goals just over a minute apart and skate with a 3-1 lead into the locker room.

Sioux Falls looked to battle back in the second and would break through at the 11 minute mark when Dakota Joshua scored on the power play to break an 0-for-10 slump over the last two games. Joshua took a pass from Dillon Eichstadat and raced down the right wing boards before blasting a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net.

One minute and 57 seconds later, the Herd struck again when Daniel Warpecha took the puck in the right wing boards and found Tyler Nanne open in the slot. Nanne wristed the puck off his stick and past Waterloo goaltender Hayden Lavigne to stand all 10,678 fans onto their feet and into a frenzy with the game tied 3-3. Sioux Falls outshot Waterloo 13-5 in the period and carried that energy over into the third period.

In the third, the Stampede nearly took their first lead of the nigh several times, but solid goaltending from Lavigne kept them off the board. Waterloo would regain the lead at 9:48 when Sean MacTavish broke into the Stampede zone on a 2-on-1 and sent a perfect pass on the left side to Phil Beaulieu who tucked the puck just under the crossbar past Brey to make it 4-3.

Sioux Falls tried to rally late, but the Hawks scored two empty net goals before Lawton Courtnall tallied a goal against his former team to make it a 6-4 game.

Sioux Falls was 1-for-4 on the power play while Waterloo was 1-for-3. The Stampede outshot the Black Hawks 32-24 on the night.

Sioux Falls will look to rebound when they host I-29 rival Sioux City for the first time ever at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center this Wednesday at 7:05 PM.

 

Steve Knutson/ESPN 99.1

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede