SIOUX FALLS, SD -- Sioux Falls Stampede goaltender Art Brey saved his best performance of the season for his former team as he pushed away all 38 shots in a 3-0 shutout of the Dubuque Fighting Saints Friday night at the Arena.  The win was the Herd’s fifth straight and kept them within two points of first place Omaha in the West.

“I just wanted to beat them (Dubuque),” said Brey.  “I have nothing but respect for those guys over there, but when it comes to two points, it’s business.”

Brey was 24-6-4 in net in 38 games for Fighting Saints last season, a year in which they took home both the Clark Cup and the Anderson Cup.  The Herd (15-5-2) have now held opponents scoreless in six straight periods following David Jacobson shutout of the Lincoln Stars in Nebraska on Wednesday.

“It might be a sleepless night trying to figure out who’s going to play goal tomorrow,” said head coach Cary Eades.  “That’s the only problem, which is a nice one.”

A tremendous period from the Stampede offense provided Sioux Falls a 3-0 boost after 20 minutes of play. Winger Dakota Joshua initiated the scoring for the Herd 3:29 into the night after receiving a pass a behind the net pass from Keith Burchett to the right circle where he slung the puck into the goal.  Jack Stander’s first career USHL score doubled the Sioux Falls lead to 2-0 with 4:57 on a nifty play by the first year defenseman.  The Gross Pointe, Mich. native fooled a Dubuque defender by faking a shot in between the circles and promptly wristed the biscuit into the upper right hand corner of the bucket.

Sioux Falls’ lead grew to a field goal a little over four minutes later after Zeb Knutson found Connor Valesano alone along right boards, allowing Valesano to overcome Frey with a superb forehand move.  The goal came just seconds after Valesano exited the box following the game’s first penalty.

“To get that third goal, that was a real turning point in the game,” said Eades.

Matters stayed 3-0 in favor of Sioux Falls through the first forty minutes, with Brey pushing away all 14 Fighting Saints shots tossed at him in the second period.  Dubuque had a chance to get on the board with two power plays, but the Herd penalty kill continued their dominance, having not allowed goal on the man advantage in 27 opportunities going into the night.

Brey and the Herd defense clamped down on the Fighting Saints in the final period of play, allowing the Herd to ride to a 3-0 win over Dubuque. The Fighting Saints had two power play chances in the last twenty minutes but couldn’t convert, making it 31 consecutive power plays stopped for the Herd.

“Our best penalty killer was Art Brey,” said Eades.

For the first time all season, Sioux Falls didn’t have a power play of their own in the game, but the Herd prevailed nonetheless to improve 6-0-1 in their last seven contests.

Sioux Falls returns home Saturday night to host the U.S. Under-17 Development Program at 7:05 PM.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede