SIOUX FALLS, SD -- The Sioux Falls Stampede used a mammoth third period featuring four straight goals to warmly welcome their fans back to the Arena in a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Steel Friday night.

All 4,284 fans in the building watched the Herd continue their dominance over the Eastern Conference this season, thanks to three points each from Tony Calderone and Ed McGovern.  Netminder David Jacobson stopped 23 of 25 shots for the Herd (30-16-6), who stayed three points behind the Sioux City Musketeers for third place in the Western Conference.

“We just stuck with our game, and at 2-2 we really showed some resolve,” said head coach Cary Eades.  “That was a little deflating for them (Chicago).  They had worked so hard to come back and tie the game. For us to go right back on top, it was big.”

A power play goal by Calderone at 5:53 gave the Herd an early 1-0 lead in the first period, the Trenton, Mich. native’s 20th goal of the season.

“He (Calderone) is back to getting his feet moving and shooting the puck,” said Eades.  “When he does that he’s one of the most dangerous players in the league.”

McGovern tossed the puck across the left circle and found Calderone on the right side, allowing the forward to one-time it in from close proximity.  The Herd thought they had another goal minutes later, but the score was waived off with the call standing after a short review.

“There’s nothing you can do about it once he calls the goal off, so you just try to forget it and just keep working,” said Calderone.  “I thought we did that really well.”

Sioux Falls’ second power play goal of the night in two chances at 9:37 bumped the lead to 2-0, this time a gorgeous one-timer by McGovern from in between the circles.  Dakota Joshua lasered a pass to the third-year defenseman from the right side, allowing McGovern to slam it into the basket for his sixth goal of the year and second point of the night.

The Steel finally snapped the shutout a little over three minutes later at 12:43 and brought the game back to a one-goal 2-1 Stampede contest.

Though the Steel would tie the game up at 2-2 at the 4:25 mark, the goal would serve only to awaken the beast, as the Herd came back with four consecutive scores to finish out the game.  Two goals within 35 seconds of each other quickly gave the Herd their two-goal lead back, starting with a tally from Jason Stephanik at 5:26. Chad Duschene found the forward completely isolated in front of Chicago netminder Cale Morris and left Stephanik to do the rest of the work, beating the goalie with a nifty move.  Stephanik’s linemate Eduard Simun punched it in mere seconds later, making it 4-2 Stampede with 13:59 left in the game.

Sioux Falls was not done yet, however, as Duschesne’s first goal of the night and second point jumped the Herd’s lead to 5-2 at 7:26.  Calderone capped off the offensive explosion with the game sixth goal at 9:02, a quick-strike play on a pass from Ed McGovern inside the right circle.

The Herd finished the impressive night 3 for 4 on the power play and outshot the Steel, 42-25.  It’ll be a case of déjà vu Saturday night as Sioux Falls once again faces off against the Steel 7:05 pm at the Arena.

“They’re going to be better tomorrow night,” said Eades.  “Our challenge is going is for us to be even better than we were tonight.”


Steve Knutson/ESPN 99.1

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede