KEARNEY, NE -- Dakota Joshua tallied an empty net goal with just over a minute left and added two assists as the Sioux Falls Stampede held off a third period rally from the Tri-City Storm to earn a 5-3 victory at the Viaero Event Center Friday night. The win was the Herd’s first of the season as they stand 1-0-1 after two games.

Stefanos Lekkas earned his first career USHL win in goal, stopping 36 shots while Troy Loggins, Logan O’Connor and Kieffer Bellows tallied goals in the victory.

For the second game in a row, the Herd got the first goal of the game early in the period, this time coming on the power play. O’Connor applied a heavy forecheck behind the Storm net and fed the puck in front of the goal to  Joshua who was stopped, but the rebound bounced to O’Connor who lifted the puck past Blake Wyerick to give Sioux Falls a 1-0 lead.

Tri-City would respond just 17 seconds later though, getting a goal from Matthew Freytag.

It stayed 1-1 until the 14:10 mark when Joey Ratts found Bellows inside the right circle who wristed a shot past the stick side of Wyerick for his first career USHL goal. Sioux Falls outshot the Storm 12-7 in the period.

The Stampede picked up right where they left off in the second, scoring just 18 seconds into the period on a goal from Loggins.  Joshua broke into the zone down the left wing wall and wristed a shot onto the goal that was stopped by Wyerick, but the rebound bounced to Loggins who scored five-hole to make it a 3-1 game.

The Herd would add to their lead at 9:05 of the third when Lukas Buchta blasted a shot from the right point, just under the crossbar and into the net to give Sioux Falls a three-goal cushion at 4-1.

That would be all for Wyerick who was then replaced by Alec Dillon. The Herd continued play in much of the period, but the Storm created several good scoring chances of their own, only to be shut down by Lekkas. The Storm outshot the Herd 14-13 in the period and took their three goal lead into the third period.

The Stampede had some good opportunities to put the game away for good early in the third period with several power plays that just missed. The Storm regained the momentum and pulled within two goals at 11:12 when Chris Wilkie scored on a rebound to make it 4-2. Less than two minutes later Tri-City struck again when Chase Berger jumped on a rebound in front of the goal and slipped the puck past a sprawled out Lekkas to make it 4-3.

That would be as close as the Storm would get though as the Herd held off a late flurry by the Storm with solid defense and great goaltending from Lekkas. Joshua sealed the game with an empty net goal with just over a minute remaining to make it 5-3.

Tri-City outshot the Stampede 39 to 33 in the game and went 1-for-4 on the power play while the Stampede were 1-for-7.

Sioux Falls returns to action Saturday night when they travel to play Sioux City at 7:05 PM.

 

Sioux Falls Stampede

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede