FARGO, ND -- Once again with their backs up against the wall, the Sioux Falls Stampede responded and earned a crucial victory.

Trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, the Stampede got goals from Thomas Forgione and C.J. Franklin to power past Fargo 2-1 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. The win evened the best-of-five series 1-1 as the series heads back to Sioux Falls this Thursday. Charlie Lindgren was once again outstanding between the pipes, stopping 33 shots and leading the Herd to victory.

Sioux Falls will host Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 next Sunday, May 5th. Should there be a Game 5, that will also be played in Sioux Falls on May 8th.

For the second night in a row, the Force grabbed the first goal of the game, but this time the Herd were unable to respond. Jordan Nelson got the Force on the board at 11:31 when he broke across on a 2-on-1 with Gage Torrel. Torrel brought the puck up the right wing boards and fed Nelson inside the left circle who then one-timed the puck underneath the crossbar and past Lindgren to give the Force a 1-0 lead. That would be the only puck to get past Lindgren who made several highlight reel saves again in the first to prevent the Force from adding to their lead. Fargo outshot the Stampede 12-9 in the first period.

Neither team would score in the second, but there were plenty of chances. Nelson broke free on a breakaway midway through the period, but Lindgren made a pad save. Later in the period, Lindgren slid from left to right and made another pad save to keep the Force off the board. Cam Johnson also made some nice stops for the Force, keeping the Herd off the board through two periods as the Force led 1-0.

Sioux Falls finally broke through in the third period, scoring 3:48 in. With the Stampede pressing, the Force turned the puck over between the circles where Forgione picked it up and backhanded a shot over the right leg of Johnson and into the net to tie the game 1-1. Sioux Falls gained the momentum from there and continued to swarm the Fargo net before taking their first lead of the series at 10:48 on a goal from Franklin. With the puck bouncing around the crease, Franklin backhanded the puck right over the right shoulder of Johnson who got a piece of it, but it bounced back behind him an rolled over the line to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 lead.

Fargo tried to rally back late in the third and pulled Johnson for an extra attacker, but the Stampede blocked shots and didn’t allow the Force a quality scoring chance, gaining the 2-1 victory and tying the series 1-1.

Sioux Falls outshot the Force 41-34 on the night and went 0-for-2 on the power play while the Force were 0-for-4.

The series now shifts to Sioux Falls for Game 3 this Thursday at 7:05 PM.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Stampede

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