SIOUX FALLS, SD -- The ice in Sioux Falls was the site of red-hot scoring action Saturday night as the Sioux Falls Stampede prevailed over the Fargo Force 6-5 in overtime before 3,824 at the Arena. Center Sam Rothstein paved the way for the Herd (4-2-0) with two goals and two assists and was helped by Thomas Forgione, Dennis Kravchenko and Matt Van Voorhis, who each had two points. Sioux Falls stretched their winning streak to four games with the win and sustained their perfect 3-0-0 record at their home rink.

“It was a teeter-totter hockey game. We went back and forth with the emotions and the momentum,” said head coach Cary Eades. “At times the coaching staffs were happy with their teams and at other times they were pulling their hair out.”

The Stampede opened the scoring before most fans could find their seats, waiting only 21 seconds into the game when Sam Rothstein wristed a smooth shot past Cameron Johnson’s glove side down the right wing boards. It was Rothstein’s second in as many nights and in fact made it the second night a row the Stampede hit the scoreboard before their opponent.

Much like last night, the Herd spent the first period bombarding shots on the opposing team, tallying 17 attempts on Johnson. However, any statistical advantage the Herd over Fargo was equalized at 11:50 as Fargo winger Jordan Nelson nailed a power play goal, evening the score at 1-1. The Force appeared to grab the game’s momentum almost three minutes into the second period, taking a 2-1 lead on a Dominic Racobaldo goal, though the Herd eventually tipped the scale back in their favor with overwhelming force.

The Stampede onslaught started at 11:11 courtesy of a Thomas Forgione deflection in front of Johnson. Another airborne tip-in by Rothstein continued the goal-scoring blitzkrieg 6:18 later, with Ryan Siiro adding his first goal of the season for good measure 32 seconds later, supplying Sioux Falls with a 4-2 advantage going into the final period of play. Rothstein’s score was his second goal of the evening and his third point of four he would end up putting on the score sheet.

“He (Rothstein) did much more than score,” said Eades. “Without him we wouldn’t have gotten the victory tonight.”

The tables turned in favor of the Force in a third period dominated by a Fargo club that refused to submit to the Stampede’s will. Fargo put three goals of their own on the board in the final 20 minutes, tying the game at 5-5 and capping off the rally with a penalty shot called at 16:02 when a Stampede player covered the puck in the crease.

“You can give credit to Fargo for really digging deep and making two big plays at the end,” said Eades.

Force forward Brendan Harms had little trouble getting the puck past Obernesser and set up the game for a little extra hockey. Overtime did not intimidate the young Stampede team, however, as defenseman and Herd newcomer R.J. Majkozak sealed the victory with a shot through the five-hole of Johnson.

“There’s no better way to get your first USHL goal than getting the overtime winner,” said the White Bear Lake, MN native after the game.

The Stampede return to action next Friday when they travel to Waterloo to face the Black Hawks at 7:05 PM. Sioux Falls will host Youngstown on Saturday in a special 4:05 PM start time at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Courtesy:  Tony Cola/Sioux Falls Stampede