Hank Crone Continues Sioux Falls Woes; Fargo Wins 3-1
The Sioux Falls Stampede had a long break before finally taking the ice Wednesday night. They had been looking to improve a defense that was giving up way too many shots, and they did improve in that area on this night, but the three goals they allowed proved to be too much as the Fargo Force won 3-1. Hank Crone scored the first goal of the game and assisted on the second to lead the home team to the victory.
The first period ended scoreless, but the Stampede looked really good in front of their net, allowing just five shots. They only had eight of their own, but the improved defense boded well for the team.
In the second period, the Fargo Force would break the scoreless tie. At the 7:55 mark, Crone was able to get open in the slot. Jack Adams passed out to him from behind the net and Crone buried the one-timer to make it 1-0. It was his seventh goal of the season.
A little less than nine minutes later the Force would be back on the scoreboard. Crone made a great pass from the right boards through the slot area where Clayton Phillips gained control and quickly fired on net for his third goal of the season. Fargo was up 2-0 heading to the second break. The second period had been a lot more wide open, as the Fargo Force outshot the Stampede 15-11.
In the third, Sioux Falls would cut the deficit in half. At the 5:05 mark, Jack St. Ivany’s shot was blocked but came right back to St. Ivany. He passed to Austin Albrecht at the top of the right face-off circle. He shot the puck through a litany of bodies, hitting off goalie Matthew Murray’s arm into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
In the final minute of the game, the Sioux Falls Stampede pulled their goalie looking for the equalizer. However, Adams was able to steal the puck in neutral ice and put it into the empty net for his 15th goal of the season. That would make the score 3-1, which would be the final.
Crone finished with a goal and an assist for the Force, as did Adams. Murray saved 22 of the 23 shots on him. Mikhail Berdin saved 28 of 30 shots he faced.
The Sioux Falls Stampede are off tomorrow for Thanksgiving, then host the Tri-City Storm on Friday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier