CEDAR RAPIDS, IA -- The Sioux Falls Stampede are proving to not be very good guests early on this season. The Herd spoiled their third straight home opener by downing the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 5-4 Saturday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. The win improved the Stampede’s record to 3-0-0 with all three wins coming on the road in the opposing team’s home opener.

Zeb Knutson tallied his eighth goal in three games while Michael Buonincontri, Keith Burchett, Dennis Kravchenko and Joe Schuldt all added goals in the victory. David Jacobson improved to 2-0-0 on the year, turning aside 18 of 22 shots in goal. The Stampede will play their first home game of the season this upcoming Friday when they host Omaha.

The RoughRiders grabbed the first goal of the game, scoring 5:31 in when Casey Jerry took a pass in the slot and wristed it past Jacobson. Sioux Falls settled down after the goal and took control of the rest of the first period, tallying 16 shots on goal, but RoughRiders netminder Chris Birdsall was solid in goal, stopping all 16 shots. The Riders took their 1-0 lead into the locker room, but were outshot 16-9 in the period.

In the second, the Stampede got on the board 4:49 in when Knutson tallied his eighth goal in just three games. C.J. Franklin and Kravchenko help send a pass into the slot where Knutson slapped the puck past the left pad of Birdsall to tie the game 1-1. The Herd took their first lead of the night at 10:32 when Tony Calderone sent a pass to the edge of the left circle where Buonincontri fired a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 lead. The Riders would tie the game five minutes later when Dylan McLaughlin intercepted the puck in front of the Stampede net and his backhand shot was stopped by Jacobson, but the rebound was batted in by Alec Marsh to tie the game 2-2. The game remained tied until the 18:30 mark when Kravchenko went coast-to-coast to score. He took the puck from the Stampede zone and raced down the middle of the ice, cut into the right wing corner inside the RoughRiders zone before cutting in front of the net and backhanding a shot through the pads of Birdsall to give Sioux Falls a 3-2 edge at the end of two periods. The Stampede outshot the Riders 12-5 in the period.

The Herd extended their lead 3:46 into the third when Knutson sent a pass in front of the net to Burchett who quickly wristed in his first career USHL goal. 14 seconds later, Schudlt gave the Stampede a 5-2 edge when he one-timed a pass in the slot from Jake Ahlgren.  The RoughRiders battled back though and cut the lead to 5-3 just 1:14 later when Marsh’s wrist shot floated over the stick side of Jacobson. It stayed that way until the 11:11 mark when the Riders converted on a power play. Charlie Curt got a shot on Jacobson that was stopped, but the rebound bounced back out to Andrew Poturalski who wristed a shot into the back of the net to cut the Stampede lead to a goal at 5-4.

Cedar Rapids would pull their goaltender late, but the Stampede defense would stand tall and the Herd held off the RoughRiders, 5-4. The Herd outshot the Riders 34-22 on the night and went 0-for-2 on the power play while Cedar Rapids was 1-for-1.

The Stampede return to action this Friday for their home opener when they host the Omaha Lancers at 7:05 PM at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede