>By Thane Barnier
Game of the Week, Wednesday December 11th: Stampede Shut Down the Bucs.
The Stampede stayed on the winning track with an impressive 4-1 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers Wednesday night. Once again goaltending was the shining spot for the Herd as Ross Cherry stopped 39 of 40 shots and held a shutout for 57 minutes. Cherry, filling in for Kellen Briggs who was serving a two game suspension, was scintillating in goal. The other key component of the Stampede win was the penalty killing unit, which allowed only one power-play goal in 12 attempts.
Joe Cigna notched a shorthanded goal for Sioux Falls, going top shelf while being pulled down from behind on a play that would have been a penalty shot, had it not resulted in a goal. The Stampede penalty killing percentage has slipped of late, and this rebound bodes well for the league’s third most penalized team. Morod Radmacher had a goal and an assist, and Jason Moul and Jacob Micflikier added power play goals and an assist each as the 3M’s kept up their scoring assault on the USHL. Defenseman Mike Vanelli added two more assists and continues to lead all USHL defensemen in points and assists. Derek Patrosso also had an assist.
Fri. Dec. 13th @ River City: River City 3 – Stampede 0. Briggs made 48 saves on 50 shots.
Sat. Dec. 14th vs. Chicago: Chicago 4 – Stamped 2. Mikflikier scored on the power play on a feed from Radmacher and Anthony Casomano scored with assists from Merit Waldrop and Jeremy Smith.
The Stampede have allowed an amazing 956 shots on the year, second only to Des Moines with 959. Even with the Herd goaltenders’ league leading .915 save percentage, this is still the largest weakness for Sioux Falls. If the Stampede are going to make a run at the Clark Cup, they will have to find a way tighten up and allow fewer shots on goal, even with the outstanding goaltending of Briggs and Cherry.
The Stampede has 4 players ranked in the Top 10 in USHL scoring. Micflikier (17G, 19A) ranked 3rd, Moul (11G, 20A) ranked 4th and Radmacher (13G, 17A) ranked 5th. Vanelli leads all USHL Defensemen (5G, 21 A) and is ranked 10th.