Sioux Falls, SD — The Sioux Falls Stampede outshot the Des Moines Buccaneers 38-21 Tuesday night, but even cupid couldn’t get the Stampede any bounces in a 4-1 loss on Valentine’s Night before 4, 284 fans at the PREMIER Center. Jaxon Nelson tallied the only goal of the game for the Herd who were once again without four regular players in the lineup. Sioux Falls finished their five game homestand at the PREMIER Center winless (0-3-2). Jeremy Swayman stopped 17 of 20 shots in goal as the Herd dropped to 16-20-6 on the year.
The Stampede came out of the gates flying and nearly took a 1-0 lead just 11 seconds into the game when Austin Albrecht flew down the left wing boards and cut towards the net before being taken down, but the puck hit the side of the goal before the net came off. The rest of the period was dominated by the Stampede who outshot the Bucs 20-6 in the period, but couldn’t get one past Des Moines netminder Jan Ruzicka. The Bucs broke through on just their third shot of the game at 18:24 when Christopher Berger sent a perfect backhanded pass across the crease to David Keefer who one-timed a pass into the back of the net to give Des Moines a 1-0 lead after one period.
The Bucs took a 2-0 lead just 4:16 into the second period when David Keefer broke across the Stampede zone along the right wing boards and sent a pass through the slot to Christopher Berger who one-timed a shot into the back of the net to give the Bucs a two goal edge. Despite the goal the Herd continued their strong play and would finally breakthrough at 11:10 when Khristian Acosta sent a perfect pass from behind the Des Moines net into the slot for Jaxon Nelson who one-timed the pass right through the pads of Ruzicka to cut the lead to 2-1. Right as it looked like the Herd might tie the game, the Bucs responded with another goal at 17:32 when Reed Lebster one-timed yet another shot that beat Swayman under the right pad and into the net. Des Moines outshot the Herd 12-10 in the period.
The Stampede had some good chances in the third with an early power play opportunity but couldn’t get a bounce to go their way. Eric MacAdams single handled created three straight chances, but two big saves by Ruzicka and a diving save in the crease by a defenseman kept him and the Stampede off the board. The Herd would pull Swayman with 1:45 remaining in the game, but the Bucs would end it with an empty net goal at 19:41 to secure the 4-1 road victory.
Sioux Falls outshot the Bucs 8-3 in the third and 38-21 on the night. They finished 0-for-4 on the power play while the Bucs were 0-for-1.
The Stampede return to action on Friday when they travel to Waterloo to face the Black Hawks at 7:05 PM. They will then host Bloomington on Saturday at 7:05 PM for the 10th annual Sioux Nation Pet Clinic Wiener Dog Races. Tickets are still available by visiting sfstampede.com, the PREMIER Center or any Ticketmaster outlet.