Schwalbe’s Late Goal Puts Herd Within Reach of USHL Finals
Ryan Schwalbe scored with 1:33 left in regulation to give the Sioux Falls Stampede a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Storm Friday night in Game 3 of the USHL Western Conference Finals at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The Herd now have a two games to one lead in the best of five series.
Sioux Falls scored first when Troy Loggins took a pass from Dakota Joshua and put it past Storm goalie Alec Dillon for a 1-0 lead. The Stampede controlled play in the opening period, holding Tri-City to only two shots on goal.
The Storm took advantage of a power play midway through the second period to tied the game 1-1, but the Stampede would answer with just four seconds remaining in the period. Logan's second goal of the night came on the man advantage and the Herd took a 2-1 lead into the lockerroom.
The Herd appeared to have all the momentum to start the third period. While on the penalty kill, Logan O'Conner got the loose puck along the boards in the neutral zone, raced down the right side and backhanded shot past Dillion for a 3-1 Sioux Falls lead at the 6:08 mark. But Tri-City capitalized on back-to-back Stampede penalties midway through the period. Mason Appleton scored on the five-on-three power play to pull the Storm within one at 3-2. Chase Berger knocked in a rebound in front of the net to tie the game 3-3 with 4:36 to play.
The game appeared to be headed to overtime when Schwalbe fired a shot from the right corner that deflected off Dillon's skate and into the net for the game winning goal with 1:33 remaining.
Loggins added an assist on the game winner to go with his two goals. Stefanos Lekkas made 22 saves in goal for the Stampede. The Herd outshot the Storm 40-21.
Game 4 is Saturday night at 7:05 PM at the PREMIER Center. The Stampede can wrap up the series and earn a spot in the Clark Cup Finals with a win. If Tri-City wins, a deciding Game 5 would be played Tuesday in Kearney, Neb.