The Stampeders not only skated to a 7-6 win over the Winnipeg Blues Sunday night, they also punched their ticket into the playoffs.
A season of hard work paid off for the Swan Valley Stampeders organization Sunday night, clinching a playoff berth for the third consecutive year.
The Stampeders offence was lead by 20-year-old Tommy Cardinal who scored three goals while adding an assist. Luke Beerman scored a pair of goals adding one helper, while netminder Parker Rey picked up his second win as a Stampeder.
Before tonight’s game Head Coach and General Manager Barry Wolff shook up his lines, most noticeably on the power play, looking for a spark offensively. The changes made a huge impact on their power play as the team scored three times with the man advantage.
A wild night was kicked off by Daunte Fortner who redirected home his fifth of the season, on the power play, at 6:02 of the opening frame. Winnipeg would respond with a pair of goals from Braden Fischer (7:04) and Brayden Foreman (9:57) to take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play.
The Stampeders offence came alive in the middle frame scoring four goals. Cardinal picked up his first of three, snapping one through Will Gurski at 2:15. Gurski had just come on in relief of Cooper Hatfield who appeared to be injured. Cardinal picked up his second of the game, and 17th of the season just over four minutes later, giving the Stampeders a 3-2 lead. Beerman snapped home his 15th of the season at 11:13. Pearce Gare responded for the Blues, wiring home his sixth of the year. Beerman would then show off his moves, collecting his second of the game, rifling one short side over Gurski with a minute and a half left in the second period.
The Blues made it interesting in the third period as Mitchell Joss scored back-to-back at 3:02 and 8:49 to tie the game at five. Josh Maucieri picked up a power play marker, sending a shot on goal that deflected off of a Winnipeg defender and in at 16:23, giving the Stamps a 6-5 lead. Cardinal completed the hat-trick at 17:17 of the third period, scoring his 18th of the season. Joss completed his own hat-trick at 17:42, but it wasn’t enough as the Stampeders held on for a 7-6 win on Super Bowl Sunday.
Swan – 33
Winnipeg – 33
Tonight’s win improves their record to 30-15-5. They also become the fourth team to clinch a playoff berth.
“We are very proud of the players commitment to get better every day,” said Wolff. “The guys continue to work very hard and have a high work ethic. Clinching a playoff berth for the third consecutive season is huge for us. We are the community’s team and we want to be a team everyone can feel a part of and proud of.”
The Stampeders will close out their three-in-three road trip Monday night in Steinbach. Puck drop is set for 7:30pm.