FARGO, ND -- A three-goal third period lifted the Sioux Falls Stampede to a 4-2 victory over the Fargo Force Saturday night at Scheels Arena.

The win moved the Stampede within five points of first place Omaha heading into the winter break in which the Herd won’t play again until December 28th. Sioux Falls is 18-6-2 at the break and in second place in the West.

Ed McGovern and Dennis Kravchenko had a goal and an assist each in the win while Keith Burchett added two assists in the win. David Jacobson earned his 12th win of the season in goal by stopping 20 of 22 shots in between the pipes.

The Force got the first goal of the game at 10:39 when a Stampede clearing attempt deflected off a Herd defenseman and into the back of the net to give Fargo a 1-0 lead. The rest of the period went back-and-forth with neither team finding the back of the net and the Force taking a 1-0 lead into the second period. Both teams tallied 10 shots on goal in the opening period.

In the second, the Herd got on the board via the power play when Dakota Joshua tallied his fifth goal of the season. Chad Duchesne took the puck in the high slot and fed it to the left wing side to Burchett who quickly sent the puck into the right circle for Joshua who snapped the puck through the pads of Fargo goaltender Cameron Johnson to tie the game 1-1. The goal was the Herd’s fifth on the power play in the last two games. That would be the lone goal of the period as the Stampede outshot the Force 14-8.

The Herd began clicking the third period, taking their first lead of the game just 4:47 into the third period when Burchett drove down the right wing boards and cut in front of the goal before dropping the puck back to McGovern who blasted a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net to give the Stampede a 2-1 lead. Less than two minutes later the Herd doubled their lead when C.J. Franklin scored right off a face-off and ripped a shot past Johnson to make it a 3-1 game.

It remained a two-goal game until the 12:19 mark when the Herd found themselves shorthanded, but extended their lead when Kravchenko scored. R.J. Majkozak took the puck in the Stampede zone and chipped it off the glass which bounced to center ice to Kravchenko who raced in on a breakaway, scoring on a wrister that beat Johnson on the glove side.

The Force pulled back within two goals at 13:58 when Christian Cakebread scored a somewhat controversial goal. It appeared Jacobson had covered the puck near the net, but no whistle blew and Cakebread batted the puck into the back of the net to make it a 4-2 game. That would be as close the Force would get as the Stampede would hold off Fargo for their 18th victory of the season.

Sioux Falls outshot Fargo 35-22 on the night and finished 1-for-3 on the powerplay. They have now scored a power play goal in eight of their last nine games and head into the break with the second best power play in the league, clicking at 23%.

The Stampede are now off until December 28th when they travel to Kearney, NE to face the Tri-City Storm. The Herd’s next home game is December 29th when they host Fargo at 6:05 PM.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede

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