KEARNEY, NE -- The Sioux Falls Stampede were hoping to pick up where they left off before the Christmas break, but the Tri-City Storm had other ideas and spoiled the Herd’s return to action, handing the Stampede a 3-1 setback Saturday night in Kearney.

C.J. Franklin tallied the only goal of the game for the Herd while David Jacobson stopped 25 of 28 shots in between the pipes for Sioux Falls who dropped to 18-7-2 on the season and into fourth place in the Western Conference. The Herd trail third place Sioux City by just one point and second place Waterloo by three points.

The Stampede shook off any rust early in the first period when Franklin tallied his 10th goal of the season 7:34 into the game. Franklin took the puck down the right wing boards and cut in towards the net and wristed a shot towards the net that bounced off a skate and went into the back of the net to give the Herd a 1-0 advantage. It would stay 1-0 until the 17:16 mark when Patrick Curry took the puck behind the net of Jacobson and tried a wrap around shot that was stopped, but dove for the rebound and snuck the puck under the pads of Jacobson to tie the game 1-1 at the end of one period. Sioux Falls outshot Tri-City 11-7 in the period.

In the second, the Storm took their first lead of the night at 4:49 when Christian Horn batted in a loose rebound in front of the Stampede net to make it a 2-1 game. The Herd tried to battle back with a couple power play opportunities, but were just off a step as several shots and passes just missed the target. The Storm would get a power play late in the period and take advantage right off a face-off when Garrett CeCere sent a pass back to the right point for Nolan Gluchowksi who ripped a shot past the glove of Jacobson to give the Storm a 3-1 lead heading into period three.

The Stampede played a solid third period, but Tri-City goaltender Jacob Johansson was solid in between the pipes, stopping all 13 shots in the period and keeping the Herd off the board. The Stampede limited the Storm’s chances in the third allowing just eight shots, but came up short in the end.

The Herd outshot Tri-City 35-28 on the night and went 1-for-5 on the power play while Tri-City was 1-for-4. The win for the Storm evened the season series against the Stampede at a game a-piece as the two teams prepare to face each other five more times in the next month, including next Friday and Saturday in Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls hits the ice again Sunday night when they host the Fargo Force at 6:05 PM at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede