Austin Albrecht Helps Sioux Falls Stampede Roll Over Cedar Rapids, 8-3
The Sioux Falls Stampede traveled to Cedar Rapids Friday night in their first road contest of the year. After the 8-3 outcome, it looked like the Stampede were enjoying the friendly confines of of Cedar Rapids Ice Arena more than the RoughRiders were, as Austin Albrecht led the team with a goal and three assists, and Jeremy Swayman earned his second win of the season with 34-saves.
This was a contest that was dominated by Sioux Falls from the very start. Just 8:52 into the contest Jack Doremus took a pass from Jaxon Nelson near the top of the right face-off circle and blasted a shot that hit just under the crossbar for the score.
A little less than seven minutes later the Stampede would extend their lead. Lean Bergman made a perfect pass out of his own end that caught a streaking Josh Passolt near center ice. The forward raced ahead of the RoughRiders defense and made a nice move before sliding the puck under the pads of Cedar Rapids goalie Zack Larocque to extend the lead to two.
The Sioux Falls Stampede were not done however. With 38 seconds left in the first period, Albrecht carried the puck behind the opposing net and then passed out in front to Jason O’Neill. His one-timer went top shelf into the corner of the net for the goal and it was 3-0. The Stampede had dominated the period in every way, outshooting the RoughRiders 14-5.
Coming out of the first break, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders went for the goalie change and this seemed to fire up their team. Just 36-seconds into the period, Nick Bowmann was found alone at the right circle and wristed a shot over the shoulder of Swayman to make it 3-1.
It would stay that way for a little over 10 minutes, when the Stampede would extend their lead back to three. At 10:55, Austin Martinsen took a pass from Vitaliy Novytskyy and blasted it over the shoulder of Matthew Ladd to make it 4-1.
The RoughRiders were unfazed by the goal, reducing the deficit back to two a little less than three minutes later. Jason Polin’s shot was blocked by Swayman, but T.J. Walsh was parked in front of the net and poked home the loose puck to make it 4-2.
Up by two, the Stampede would go on the power-play when Dalton Messina took a slashing penalty with a little more than two minutes left in the period. Sioux Falls made them pay. A perfect set of passes by Colin Swoyer and Josh Passolt eventually led to the puck going to Nelson who blasted a one-timer past the stick of Ladd to make it 5-2. That would be the score heading into the second break.
In the third, the Sioux Falls Stampede would extend their lead to four just 1:18 into the period. Albrecht’s pass to Eric MacAdams gave the forward a little room and he fired the puck into the net to make it 6-2.
Just seven minutes later the combination would deliver again. This time Albrecht set up behind the net, then sent a pass into the slot where a waiting MacAdams blasted the one-timer home to make it 7-2.
With eight-minutes left in the game the RoughRiders would get a power-play goal when Zac Robbins netted his first goal of the year. However, Sioux Falls responded 2:47 later when Albrecht scored his first goal of the season. That made it 8-3, which would be the final.
Swayman saved 34 of 37 shots he faced in moving his record to 2-0-0-0. Albrecht was named the top star of the game, tallying a goal and three-assists. He now has a goal and five-assists on the season for six total points, which leads the USHL. MacAdams added two goals, and Nelson, O’Neill, and Passolt each had a goal and an assist for the Stampede. Sirota had two assists for the RoughRiders.
The Sioux Falls Stampede head home to take on the Waterloo Black Hawks on Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier