Stampede Advance and Force Extend Series
Tuesday April 23, 2013
Charlie Lindgren posted a shutout to lead the Sioux Falls Stampede to a series win and Austin Ortega scored two goals for the Fargo Force to push their series to Game Five. (photos by Chad Phillips and mJoy Photography)
CLARK CUP PLAYOFFS – First Round
Lincoln Stars 0 @ Sioux Falls Stampede 2
It was a thriller in Sioux Falls during a decisive Game Five as the Stampede blanked the Stars to earn the series victory and advance to the Western Conference Final. The goaltenders stole the show throughout the game as neither team could score on quality chances. Michael Bitzer was on his game as he turned away 15 shots in the first period alone for Lincoln while Charlie Lindgren stopped five in the opening frame for Sioux Falls. Lindgren had an even bigger second period, making 19 saves, and Bitzer kept on rolling with nine more stops to keep the game scoreless through 40 minutes of play.
Early in the third period, the Stampede broke through as Ryan Siiro scored his first USHL career playoff goal. It would be all the scoring they would need as Lindgren was flawless stopping another 10 shots in the frame for his first postseason shutout. Thomas Forgione would further seal the victory with an empty net goal in the final moments. Bitzer finished the night with 40 saves for Lincoln.
Sioux Falls now awaits the winner of the Fargo vs. Waterloo series that is headed to a fifth game.
Fargo Force 6 @ Waterloo Black Hawks 3
As with the first three games of the series, there was no shortage of offense during Game Four as the Force had a six-goal effort to extend the series to a deciding fifth game. Dominic Toninato, who led Fargo in scoring during the regular season, netted his first goal of the playoffs just under seven minutes into the first period. Fargo made it 2-0 heading into the break when Austin Ortega tallied his third goal of the series.
Fargo kept firing in the second period when Alex Iafallo scored a goal, followed by Ortega’s second of the night just over five minutes later. Waterloo wouldn’t go away quietly as Taylor Cammarata got his team on the board and Zach Stepan cut the lead in half when he netted a goal just before the second intermission.
Early in the third period, Brendan Harms built the lead back to three goals with his second tally of the series. Vince Hinostroza scored on the power play late for Waterloo, his fourth of the series, but it wouldn’t be enough as Harms finished the game off with an empty net goal. Brendan Jensen earned the victory in net for the Force with a 34-save effort.
The decisive Game Five of the series is set for Wednesday in Fargo.
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