SIOUX FALLS, SD -- A third period rally was too-little too-late for the Sioux Falls Stampede as they dropped a 6-4 match to the Tri-City Storm at the Arena Saturday night in Game 2 of a weekend doubleheader.

Four different Sioux Falls players had two points each while netminder Art Brey stopped 12 of 14 shots for Sioux Falls (20-9-2), who fell to the Storm 5-1 on Friday at the Arena.  Saturday’s loss pushed the Herd to eight points behind the conference-leading Omaha Lancers and allowed the Sioux City Musketeers to leapfrog in front of Sioux Falls by a point for third place.

“There were just too many defensive lapses,” said head coach Cary Eades.  “Our goaltending is struggling right now and we’re not playing well in front of them.  You give up six goals and you aren’t going to win many hockey games.”

Tri-City picked up where they left off Friday night, jumping to a 1-0 lead only 56 seconds into the game when Austin Poganski tipped in a rebound from the left side.  However, Sioux Falls would not be discouraged after the quick score, scoring two goals within 20 ticks of each other, starting with a tally from Keith Burchett at the 8:25 mark.  The future Bowling Green Falcon sliced a rebound of his own in from the right side off a blast from defenseman Daniel Fritz, his 12th goal of the year.

Dennis Kravchenko seized the momentum for the Herd just seconds later, rifling a shot from the left circle past Johansson’s glove side.  That momentum was extinguished exactly three minutes later when Storm center Ryan McMurphy got a puck past an outstretched David Jacobson at 11:45, making it 2-2 heading into the second period.

Tri-City waited a mere 47 seconds after the first intermission ended to retake control of the contest, grabbing a 3-2 lead thanks to Poganski’s second goal of the night.  The evening’s trend of back-to-back goals was continued 34 seconds later when Chase Berger doubled the margin with a blast from the right side. It would be the end of the night for Jacobson, who be pulled in favor of Brey.  Things appeared to be looking up after a Tri-City elbowing penalty put the Herd on the power play, but a shorthanded goal via Daniel Labosky  sunk any optimism in the Arena and gave the Storm a 5-2 lead 5:04 into the second period.

A power play score by C.J. Franklin at 2:16 of the third period brought Herd within two goals, but a response from Christian Horn gave the Storm their three-score lead back again.

“We played better than last night, especially in the third period,” said Eades.  “The guys worked really hard. It was a tough situation.”

Zeb Knutson gave the Herd one last push with a goal at 9:48, but the Herd offense would be unable to muster any more magic the rest of the way, allowing the Storm to clinch the weekend sweep and the 6-4 win.

“We just have to get back to working hard, which we did in the third period, and stretch that 20 minutes out into sixty minutes” said Eades.

The Herd will try and get back on track this Tuesday when they host the Lincoln Stars at 7:05 PM at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede