SIOUX FALLS, SD -- The Sioux Falls Stampede continued their slump following a rough weekend, coming up short in a 4-1 loss to the Lincoln Stars Tuesday night. Two of those scores came on power plays on a night where the Herd (20-10-2) allowed seven Lincoln power plays while only enjoying four man advantages themselves.

“I wasn’t happy with a couple of the calls that went against us, but there were some pretty easy ones to call,” said head coach Cary Eades.  “I’m not going to blame officiating for a loss.”

The rivalry game was the only USHL contest on the schedule Tuesday night and a prime chance for the Herd to gain ground on the conference-leading Omaha Lancers, who led the Western Conference by eight points coming into the night.

Sioux Falls found themselves lucky to be down only 1-0 after the first period after gifting the Lincoln Stars five power plays during the first 20 minutes.  The lone goal of the period came during the third Lincoln man advantage at 14:14 when winger Magnus Hoff punched a rebound past David Jacobson’s glove side from the right circle. The Herd only managed five shots on Nehama while their Nebraskan counterparts were able to get 13 tries on Jacobson in the period.

“Right now we have a lot of guys struggling with their confidence,” said Eades.  “It’s a heavy weight on their shoulders.”

A power play goal from Lincoln’s Max Humitz bumped the Stars lead to 2-0 at 6:30 of the second period after a five minute head contact call on Herd defenseman Jack Stander.  Physical play dominated the course of the second period, with penalties, scuffles and fisticuffs a plenty.  The Herd finally cracked into the Stars’ two-goal lead with 1:53 left on the clock when winger Dakota Joshua rocketed a shot into the bottom right corner of the net from the right circle, his seventh goal of the year.

Though the Herd came out motivated to start the third period, John Simonson would lock up the Lincoln victory at the 8:56 mark, giving the Stars a crucial 3-1 lead over a Herd offense that had trouble clicking for most of the evening.   An empty-net goal with 27.9 seconds left simply iced the cake for the Stars, sending the the Herd to their third loss in a row.

“We had a lot of great chances, but we just couldn’t make it 2-2,” said Eades.  “You have a lazy backcheck, they score a third goal and its game over.”

The Stampede will look to rebound Friday night when they host the Waterloo Black Hawks at 7:05 PM at the Arena.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede